1. Trek stunning mountain ranges
Being such a large country, China has a wealth of rugged peaks that are best explored on adventurous hiking trails. Walk through alpine forests, witness karst landscapes, marvel at sandstone pillars, join a pilgrimage to a sacred mountain and appreciate China’s natural wonders on foot.
- Best time to trek: March – October (spring, summer, and fall) is generally considered the best time for trekking due to pleasant temperatures and the outdoor scenery is at its most beautiful. Rainfall and temperatures will vary from region to region so it is important to research your specific hiking destination beforehand.
- Tip: Avoid trail runners and purchase hiking boots with plenty of insulation and ankle support. Break in your boots well before your China trip to avoid blisters during your trek.
2. Conquer the Huashan plank walk
Earning the title of the “World’s Most Dangerous Hike,” this death-defying adventure in China ascends the base of rugged cliffs by using wooden planks, steep ladders and harnesses. Hikers inch their way across the narrow path while straddling the edge of Mount Hua’s south peak.
- Best time to walk: April – May (spring) and September – October (fall) to avoid colder temperatures, the summer rainy season and large crowds.
- Tip: There is more than just the plank walk to explore on Mount Hua, including a cable car, several peaks and lots of stairs, so make sure you set aside a whole day for the adventure.
3. Mountain bike through wild terrain
The untamed landscapes in China offer numerous challenging paths for daring cyclists. Ride along the cliffs of Tiger Leaping Gorge, through the grueling environment of the Gobi Desert and other thrilling trails across the country for an unforgettable ride.
- Best time to bike: March – May (spring) and October – November (fall) for comfortable temperatures and drier weather conditions.
- Tip: The Tai Mo Shan downhill mountain bike route is one of the most popular mountain bike routes in China. Watch out though — cyclists here ride fast!
4. Surf the coast
Surfing may not come to mind when you think of adventure trips in China, but surfing culture is quickly on the rise throughout the eastern coast. There are lots of pristine beaches and numerous surfing spots where locals are migrating to hang ten.
- Best time to surf: August – October (late summer to fall) and November – March (winter to early spring) coincide with the two surfing seasons in China.
- Tip: Hainan Island, located in the South China Sea near Vietnam, is the most popular surf spot in China. This is the best place in China to experience local surf culture, witness annual surfing competitions and ride some of the wildest swells the country has to offer.
5. Camp on the Great Wall of China
One of the most memorable adventure tours in China is camping at this Wonder of the World, an amazing experience to connect with nature and the country’s history. Spanning over 21,196 kilometers, the ancient fortification offers an abundance of places to spend the night.
- Best time to camp: April – June (spring) and September – November (fall) for milder temperatures and to avoid the peak crowds of summer.
- Tip: Although rarely enforced in remote regions, it is technically illegal to camp along the Great Wall and only camping with a tour guide is recommended.