Spend a little time traveling in China, and you'd be forgiven for thinking the country is an unending series of jam-packed metropolises. From the megacities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen to the third-tier regional centers few outside the mainland have heard of, China is not short on crammed buildings and bustling crowds an unavoidable consequence of having a population of 1.3 billion. But because so much of the population is concentrated along the coastal and central regions, the north and west have some wonderful open spaces. Just a two-hour flight out of Beijing, near the Inner Mongolian city of Hailar, is the Jinzhanghan Grassland, a rolling expanse of prairie bisected by a winding river. There is nothing to do there but hike, ride horses and drink beer, but the view is incredible and the local beer isn't bad either.
By Austin Ramzy