How to Plan a Trip to China from India: A Step-by-Step Guide

Welcome to our step-by-step guide for traveling from India to China. China's diverse culture, rich history, and stunning landscapes are attracting more Indian travelers than ever before. Whether you're heading for business or leisure, our guide covers everything you need to know, from visa applications to cultural tips. Join us on this journey to the land of the Great Wall, delicious cuisine, and a unique blend of tradition and modernity. Let's get started on your adventure to China!

Step by Step planning for travelling China from India

  1. Decide where to go in China

  2. Decide when to visit China and How many days?

  3. What's your Budget?

  4. Book your Flight tickets and Hotel Accommodations

  5. Apply for Visa

  6. Start Packing

Let's Dive in!

Step 1: Decide Where to go in China?

There are countless destinations in China that would make it to your bucket list. However here are our few suggestions to your next trip to China. Make sure to add them on your itinerary.

Popular Places to visit in China

  1. Beijing

  2. Guilin

  3. Chengdu

  4. Xi'an

  5. Shanghai

Beijing

Beijing, China

Beijing, the capital of China, is a city with a rich history and culture. It is home to many iconic landmarks, including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Great Wall of China. Beijing is also a modern city with a vibrant economy and a thriving cultural scene.

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City Beijing

The Forbidden City was the imperial palace of China for over 500 years. It is a vast complex of buildings with over 9,999 rooms. The Forbidden City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in China.

Tiananmen Square, Beijing

Tiananmen Square, Beijing

Tiananmen Square is the largest public square in the world. It is located in the heart of Beijing and is home to many important government buildings, including the Great Hall of the People and the National Museum of China. Tiananmen Square is also a popular gathering place for protests and demonstrations.

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China, Beijing

The Great Wall of China is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. It is a series of fortifications that stretches over 13,000 miles across northern China. The Great Wall was built over centuries to protect China from invaders. Today, it is a popular tourist destination and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In addition to its historical and cultural attractions, Beijing is also a major center for business and finance. It is home to many Fortune 500 companies and is a hub for international trade and investment. Beijing is also a popular destination for students, as it is home to some of the best universities in China.

The Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest)

The Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest)

Beijing is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with something to offer everyone. Whether you are interested in history, culture, business, or simply want to experience the excitement of a modern Chinese city, Beijing is the perfect place to visit.

Here are some additional things to do in Beijing:

  • Visit the Summer Palace: This beautiful imperial garden is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a peaceful afternoon.

  • Take a walk through the Hutongs: These narrow alleyways are a remnant of old Beijing and are a great place to experience traditional Chinese culture.

  • Visit the Wangfujing Snack Street: This lively street is lined with stalls selling all sorts of delicious Chinese street food.

  • See a performance at the Peking Opera: This traditional Chinese opera is a must-see for any visitor to Beijing.

Beijing is a truly unique and fascinating city. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and modern amenities, Beijing has something to offer everyone.

Guilin

Guilin, China

Guilin is a city in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of southern China. It is known for its stunning scenery, which has been described as "the best under heaven." Guilin is home to limestone karst mountains, rivers, and lakes, which create a breathtaking landscape.

Li River

Li River, China

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Guilin is the Li River. The river winds through the city and its surrounding mountains, offering stunning views of the scenery. Visitors can take a boat cruise on the Li River to experience the beauty of Guilin up close.

Elephant Trunk Hill

Elephant Trunk Hill, Guilin

Another popular tourist attraction in Guilin is the Elephant Trunk Hill. This hill is shaped like an elephant's trunk, and it is one of the most photographed landmarks in the city. Visitors can climb to the top of the hill for panoramic views of Guilin.

In addition to its natural beauty, Guilin also has a rich cultural heritage. The city is home to a number of temples, pagodas, and other historical sites. Visitors can learn about the history and culture of Guilin by visiting these sites.

Here are some of the things you can do in Guilin:

  • Take a boat cruise on the Li River

  • Climb Elephant Trunk Hill

  • Visit the Reed Flute Cave

  • Explore the Old Town

  • Visit the Seven Star Park

  • Learn about the history and culture of Guilin at one of the many museums

Guilin is a truly unique and special place. With its stunning scenery, rich culture, and friendly people, it is a city that is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.

Chengdu

Chengdu, China

Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province in southwestern China. It is a major economic and cultural center, and is also known for its stunning scenery, delicious food, and laid-back atmosphere.

Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding

Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding

One of the most popular attractions in Chengdu is the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. This world-renowned center is home to over 100 giant pandas, and visitors can get up close and personal with these amazing creatures.

Wenshu Monastery

Wenshu Monastery, Chengdu

Another popular attraction is the Wenshu Monastery, a Buddhist temple that is over 1,500 years old. The monastery is known for its beautiful architecture and its peaceful atmosphere.

Chengdu is also home to a number of other interesting attractions, such as the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Kuanzhai Alley, a traditional Chinese shopping street.

Here are some other things that visitors can do in Chengdu:

  • Visit the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Take a cooking class and learn how to make some of Chengdu's signature dishes

  • Visit the Sichuan Opera House and see a traditional Sichuan opera performance

  • Visit the Chongqing Hot Pot Museum and learn about the history and culture of hot pot

  • Take a day trip to Mount Qingcheng, a beautiful mountain with temples and waterfalls

Chengdu is a vibrant and exciting city with something to offer everyone. If you are looking for a unique and unforgettable travel experience, Chengdu is the perfect destination for you.

Xi'an

Xi'an City wall

Xi'an is a city in northwestern China, and the capital of Shaanxi Province. It is one of the four ancient capitals of China, and has a history of over 3,100 years. Xi'an is a major cultural and economic center, and is home to a number of important historical and cultural sites.

Xi'an City Wall

Xi'an City wall

One of the most iconic landmarks in Xi'an is the Xi'an City Wall. The wall is over 13 kilometers long and is one of the best-preserved city walls in the world. Visitors can walk or bike along the top of the wall for stunning views of the city.

Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum

Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum

Another must-see attraction in Xi'an is the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. This museum houses a vast collection of terracotta soldiers and horses that were buried with the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. The terracotta warriors are incredibly lifelike, and are a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the ancient Chinese.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Other popular tourist attractions in Xi'an include the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the Forest of Steles, and the Muslim Quarter. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a Buddhist pagoda that was built over 1,300 years ago. The Forest of Steles is a park that contains over 3,000 stone tablets dating back to the Tang Dynasty. The Muslim Quarter is a vibrant area of the city with narrow streets, mosques, and shops selling halal food.

Here are some other things that visitors can do in Xi'an:

  • Visit the Forest of Stone Steles

  • Shop from a wide variety of markets and shops selling everything from souvenirs to traditional Chinese handicrafts.

  • Visit the Xi'an Museum of Art

  • Take a day trip to the Qinling Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Xi'an is a truly unique and special city. With its rich history, culture, and food, it is a city that is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.

Shanghai

Shanghai, Night Picture

Shanghai is a city of contrasts, with its modern skyscrapers and ancient temples, its bustling markets and tranquil gardens. It is one of the most populous cities in the world, and it is also a major financial and cultural center.

Shanghai skyline

Shaghai Skyline

Shanghai is located on the Yangtze River Delta, at the mouth of the Yangtze River. The city has a long and rich history, dating back to the 13th century. Shanghai was once a major port city, and it played an important role in the development of China's economy.

The Bund, Shanghai

The Bund, Shanghai

The Bund is one of the most iconic landmarks in Shanghai. It is a waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings. The Bund offers stunning views of the Pudong skyline, which is home to some of the tallest buildings in the world.

Yu Garden, Shanghai

Yu Garden Shanghai

Yu Garden is a traditional Chinese garden with beautiful gardens, pavilions, and bridges. The garden is a popular tourist destination, and it is also a popular spot for locals to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Shanghai Museum

Shanghai Museum

The Shanghai Museum is one of the largest museums in China. The museum houses a collection of over 1 million artifacts, including paintings, ceramics, jade, and bronze.

People's Square, Shanghai

People's Square, Shanghai

People's Square is the largest public square in Shanghai. The square is home to a number of important government buildings, as well as a number of parks and gardens. People's Square is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to relax and enjoy the city.

Xintiandi, Shanghai

Xintiandi, Shanghai

Xintiandi is a trendy neighborhood in Shanghai with restored Shikumen townhouses, art galleries, and boutiques. Xintiandi is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to shop, dine, and enjoy the nightlife.

Here are some other things that visitors can do in Shanghai:

  • Take a boat cruise on the Huangpu River

  • Visit the Shanghai Disneyland Resort

  • Explore the French Concession

  • Visit the street

  • Learn about the history of Shanghai at one of the many museums

Shanghai is a truly global city, and it is a great place to experience Chinese culture and history in a modern setting.

Also Read: Vietnam Adventures: Top 10 Memorable Activities to Experience in 2023

Step 2: Decide When to Visit China and How Many Days? 

How long you need to spend in China depends on your interests and budget. If you want to see the most popular tourist attractions, such as Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai, you could do it in 10-14 days. But if you want to experience more of Chinese culture and history, you could easily spend 2-3 weeks or more.

The best time to visit China depends on your interests and what you want to see and do.

Spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) are generally considered to be the best times to visit China, as the weather is mild and pleasant. The skies are clear and sunny, and there is less rainfall during these months.

Spring season in China

Summer (June to August) can be very hot and humid in China, especially in the southern part of the country. However, there are also some advantages to visiting during the summer, such as the many festivals and events that take place during this time.

Summer Season in China

Winter (November to March) can be cold and snowy in China, especially in the northern part of the country. However, there are also some advantages to visiting during the winter, such as the lower prices and fewer crowds.

Winter in China

If you are interested in sightseeing, hiking, or trekking, spring and autumn are the best times to visit. For skiing and snowboarding, winter is the best time. If you want to experience Chinese festivals and events, be sure to check the dates in advance. And for budget travel, winter is the best time to visit.

No matter what time of year you choose to visit China, you are sure to have a wonderful time.

Avoid traveling to China during the China National Day Holiday, also known as the Crazy Golden Week, from October 1st to 7th. This is the busiest time of year for tourism in China, and all scenic areas will be packed with domestic tourists.

Step 3: Decide What's your Budget?

When planning a trip to China from India, it is important to consider your budget. China is a large and diverse country, and the cost of travel can vary depending on the city you are visiting, the time of year, and your travel style.

Here are some tips for considering budget while planning a trip to China from India:

  • Flights: Flights from India to China can be expensive, especially if you are traveling during peak season. To save money on flights, consider flying on a budget airline or booking your tickets in advance.

  • Accommodation: Accommodation in China can range from budget hostels to luxury hotels. To save money on accommodation, consider staying in hostels or guesthouses, or staying in less popular areas of the city.

  • Food: Food in China can be very affordable, especially if you eat at street food stalls or local restaurants. However, if you want to eat at Western restaurants, you can expect to pay more.

  • Transportation: Transportation in China can be very affordable, especially if you use public transportation. However, if you want to take taxis or private tours, you can expect to pay more.

Here are some additional tips for saving money on your trip to China:

  • Take advantage of free activities. Many cities in China offer free walking tours, museum admission, and other activities.

  • Use travel credit cards. Many travel credit cards offer rewards that can be redeemed for flights, hotels, and other travel expenses.

  • Negotiate prices. It is common to negotiate prices for souvenirs, taxi fares, and other services in China.

With a little planning, it is possible to have a wonderful and affordable trip to China.

Also Read: Phuket Travel Guide: Must-Dos for Your 2023 Thailand Trip

Step 4: Book your Flight tickets and Hotel Accommodations

Once you have decided on when to visit and where to visit in China, you can start booking your hotels and flight tickets.

Flying options to China from India

There are a number of airlines that fly from India to China. Some of the most popular airlines include Air India, Air asia and Singapore airlines. Flights are available from all the major Indian cities but with one or more stops. However, There are no direct flights to China from India.

Booking Hotels

There are a wide variety of hotels to choose from in China, from budget hostels to luxury hotels. The price of your hotel will depend on the city you are staying in, the time of year you are traveling, and the type of hotel you want to stay in.

Here are some tips for booking hotels and flight tickets to China from India:

  • Book your flights and accommodation in advance, especially if you are traveling during peak season.

  • Be flexible with your travel dates. If you can, try to avoid traveling during the peak times.

  • Consider staying in hostels or guesthouses if you are on a budget.

  • Look for deals on flight tickets and accommodation. Many airlines and hotels offer discounts for early booking or for booking multiple nights.

Once you have booked your flights and accommodation, you are ready to start planning your trip to China!

Step 5: Apply for Visa

For an Indian Traveler need following documents to apply for a China tourist visa:

  • A passport valid for at least 6 months

  • A completed visa application form

  • 2 passport photos

  • A personal cover letter

  • An updated bank statement

  • Proof of income

  • Proof of employment or education

  • Hotel reservation or invitation letter

  • Confirmed flight tickets

  • A day-by-day trip plan

For tourism purposes you should apply for a L-type visa. The normal visa processing time for a China Visa is 4-6 working days. 

Step 6: Start Packing!!

When packing for a trip to China from India, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

  • The climate: China has a wide range of climates, so it is important to pack clothes that are appropriate for the time of year and the region you will be visiting. For example, if you are visiting Beijing in the winter, you will need to pack warm clothes, such as a coat, hat, and gloves. If you are visiting Shanghai in the summer, you will need to pack light clothes, such as shorts and t-shirts.

  • The culture: China is a conservative country, so it is important to dress appropriately. Avoid wearing revealing clothing or clothing that is too tight-fitting. It is also important to be respectful of Chinese customs and traditions.

  • The activities: If you plan on doing any hiking or trekking, you will need to pack appropriate footwear and clothing. If you plan on visiting any temples or religious sites, you will need to pack modest clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.

    Clothes:

    • Comfortable shoes

    • Layers of clothing for different temperatures

    • A hat and sunglasses

    • A raincoat or umbrella

    • Modest clothing for temples and religious sites

    Accessories:

    • Passport

    • Visa

    • Credit cards

    • Cash

    • Camera

    • Phone charger

    • Adapter plug

    Other items:

    • Medications

    • Insect repellent

    • Sunscreen

    • Tissues

    • Water bottle

Make sure to carry an International All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter to avoid any issue on charging your electronic devices.

You may also want to pack a phrasebook or dictionary to help you communicate with locals.

Here are some additional tips for packing for a trip to China from India:

  • Pack light. It is easier to get around China if you are not carrying a lot of luggage.

  • Bring a reusable water bottle. This will save you money on bottled water.

  • Be prepared for crowds. China is a very populous country, so you can expect to see large crowds in popular tourist destinations.

  • Be respectful of Chinese culture. This includes dressing appropriately and avoiding public displays of affection.

With a little planning, you can pack everything you need for a wonderful and unforgettable trip to China!

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