Westward bound

Updated: 2014-11-15 08:19

By Yang Feiyue(China Daily)

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Westward bound

At the Galeries Lafayette shopping center in Paris.[Photo provided to China Daily]

While most tourist attractions in China were overcrowded during the National Day holiday, Xie Yunlin flew to Europe to embark on her own exotic journey. "I chose to tour Russia this year, because there would be too many tourists in China during the holiday and I've already been to many famous and popular domestic scenic spots," says Xie.

The 26-year-old woman works at a securities company in Shanghai, and has already traveled to the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Poland with her parents, friends and travel partners she found using tourist information sharing websites such as Qyer.com and Mafengwo.com.

"I've always been fascinated by the diverse religions in Europe, and I always went to see churches, castles and imperial palaces in different European countries, including the Gothic Notre Dame de Paris in France, Milan Cathedral in Italy and St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in Rome," says Xie.

Xie also enjoys visiting European museums, such as the State Hermitage Museum in Russia, Louvre in France, and Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands.

Xie says she appreciates the differences in modern art between China and Europe. "I chose Europe over the US because I'm not a big fan of shopping and playing at casinos," she says.

Travel expert Liu Simin believes the rich European culture, low transportation costs, and mature tourism products make it an ideal destination for Chinese travelers. "Many stores and hotels in Europe have begun offering Chinese language services, such as the Galeries Lafayette, to help cater to the needs of the Chinese tourists," says Jiang Yiyi.

The US and Europe both hold great sway over Chinese tourists, especially those who have never been abroad, thanks to their exotic culture and customs. Both are must-see destinations.