I’ve been captivated by China since I was eight. For two weeks stright, I tried to dig a hole there. It didn’t work. Fortunately, I’ve discovered the convenience of air travel.

My first trip to China consisted of a drunken night in Shanghai I still cannot explain, eating grilled chicken hearts at 3am and waking up wondering how I was going to carry my 40-pound Buddha head home in my backpack. China is pure fascination, with the most awe-inspiring sites on the planet and traditions that defy imagination. My Chinese Bucket list keeps growing longer every day…

The Avatar Forest!

photo: shutterstock/rustylove

Step straight onto the set of ‘Avatar’ as 3000 gravity-defying karst spires dot the misty Zhangjiajie forest in Hunan. The Avatar Floating Mountains of Zhangjiajie: Step straight onto the set of ‘Avatar’ as 3000 gravity-defying karst spires dot the misty Zhangjiajie forest in Hunan. Forests of majestic quartz-sandstone rock formations have captivated ancient artists and draw present-day nature-lovers. Recognized for its uniqueness, there is no other place like this in the world.

Traditional Bird Fishing in Yangshuo, China

photo: shutterstock/tdway

Traditional fishing in China use trained cormorants to fish. This symbiotic relationship survives to this day in Yangshuo, China.

Catching Buddha’s Light in Huangshan

photo: shutterstock/lzf

The ‘Buddha’s Light’ phenomenon among the gnarled pines clinging impossibly to the sheer cliffs of Huangshan Mountain Follow the twisted path of Ancient philosophers among the gnarled pines clinging impossibly to the sheer cliffs of Huangshan Mountain. Folds of clouds hug the highest peaks of the range nearly 200 days of the year. Climb staircases of more than 60,000 steps carved into the mountains. The mystical phenomenon of ‘Buddha’s Light’ which appears as a halo on the shadow of the observer’s head.

Volunteer at a Giant Panda Reserve

photo: flickrcc/rtuda

Sign up as an intern at the Louguantai Wild Animal Breeding and Protection Center near Xi’an and find yourself nursing rare endangered species back to life.

The Harbin Ice and Snow Festival

photo: shutterstock/thecurioustravelers

Just how far can you push igloo construction? The The Harbin Ice and Snow Festival is the largest festival of its kind in the world where entire full-size buildings are created with illuminated clear blocks of ice. This festival looks like a totally ridiculous way to enjoy the cold winter temperatures of central China.

Rainbow Mountains and Danxia Landform

photo: shutterstock/rat007

The rainbow mountains in Zhangye, China are some of the most spectacular on the planet. This area enjoys great weather from June to September and see nature in all its vibrant glory.

Suzhou: The Venice of China

photo: Visit Suzhou

The 4000-year old silk industry brought wealth to the city and is highlighted today in museum exhibitions that illustrate the traditional methods and even have live silk worms munching away at mulberry leaves. Famous scholars, actors and painters were drawn to Suzhou, creating their own villas and garden retreats throughout the city. The historical public gardens have been built to achieve intellectual ideals of both Taoism (balance) and Confucianism (society) using harmonious combinations of natural and man-made elements. Spending time in these gardens will help one realize that their most perplexing challenges are always mirrored somewhere in nature. There is even a Taoist Temple of Mystery with 60 pillars that dates from the 1100’s.

If you would like to visit The Venice of China, you can enter the contest. Running for the next month, nine lucky winners will travel with a guest on a 6-day itinerary to experience the best of Suzhou, including the UNESCO world heritage sites, gardens, temples and museums. This can jumpstart your own China bucket list!

Enter to win a trip to Suzhou now!

This sweepstakes is in cooperation with Visit Suzhou to help promote the contest. All thoughts are my own and I believe this is a great opportunity to help people travel. I have no control over the winner.

What’s on your China bucket list?

 

About the author: Brad Bernard

 

Brad Bernard has traveled through 92 countries to find off-the-map experiences and authentic adventure travel. He pushes his own personal boundaries by travelling experimentally. Brad’s personal quest to find the most extreme and unique in travel has bred misadventures and moments of enlightenment alike. You can read his craziest stories on his adventure travel blog

Website: https://plus.google.com/+BradBernard340/