Top 10 Leisure Cities of China for 2012

None of China's biggest cities are on the list of Top 10 Leisure Cities of China for 2012, prepared by China's Travel and Leisure Association. Of course, given what is happening in mega-metropolises such as Beijing and Shanghai, this should surprise no one.

Those who did make it onto the list, from number one downward, are: Qingdao, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Yantai, Ningbo, Qinghuangdao, Xiamen, Huangshan, Lijiang, and Wuhu.

Of these leisure cities, five are located on the coast - Qingdao, Yantai, Ningbo, Qinhuangdao, and Xiamen, which evidently benefited from the fact they enjoy better air quality than many other Chinese urban centers. Hangzhou, number two on the list, is one of China’s prime tourist destinations, known in particular for the beauty of the West Lake. Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern province Sichuan, is known for its leisurely pace of life and fervent love for tasteful cuisine. The residents also have quite a reputation as mahjong players. Ningbo, located a short distance south of Shanghai, has successfully combined with a booming economy based on foreign trade with effective environmental control.

As for Huangshan, its main appeal is the scenic mountain from which the city derived its name – Huangshan means Mt. Huang.

Lijiang in Yunnan Province is a well-preserved old town with traditional architecture and local folk culture.
The black horse on the list is Wuhu. Located in Anhui Province and on the bank of the Yangzi River, the city is less well known as the others with which it shared the recognition. Notably missing from the list is Guilin, another prime tourist destination in China, which may actually account for its absence from the top leisure city list – too much of a good thing has overwhelmed the city.