Western China Guide

chinamap West 23

Special Characteristics

Most of western China is less developed, less polluted, sparsely populated, home to dozens of minority nationalities, and geographically comprised of high plateaus, mountain ranges, and barren desert. This makes the language, cuisine, and customs also vary greatly compared with Eastern China. For me, this is a really interesting, vibrant, and under appreciated area for Western tourists. So, this section presents the other half of China, but more importantly, encourages visitors to see more than a few big cities; get off the beaten path and travel west!

Northwest China Guide

This is an extremely dry, arid, and sparsely populated area comprised of Qinghai, Xinjiang, Gansu, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, and Shanxi provinces. The largest minority groups are Uighur/Hui Muslims, Tibetan and Mongol. Along the way you will see many Buddhist temples and Mosques, and some Tibetan Buddhists will not eat meat while Uighur/Hui Muslim areas will not serve pork at restaurants. People are friendly, easy going, and the food is amazing. Some areas are very culturally unique, others are incredibly scenic, and a few have great historic cities.

Southwest China Guide

This area consists of 4 provinces, which are all great travel destinations: Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, and Yunnan, and 1 large administrative region Chongqing. They include significant minority populations. Most of them still live in their traditional communities with their distinct languages and cultures. The geology of southwest China ranges from mountains, glaciers, gorges, karst landscapes and beautiful stone formations with rivers cut through them to flat areas like the Sichuan basin and humid subtropical areas like Yunnan and Guangxi. I have done a lot of traveling here, but there is still more to see!

What to do next?

For more photos and information on current, recent and past trips, check out the Travelinman86.com youtube page and extended photo album.