Splendidly diverse, endlessly quirky and overwhelmingly vast, China is like several different countries rolled into one. A riveting jumble of the ancient with all its traditions and splendour, contrasting with the modernity of thronging mega-cities and cutting-edge architecture. China is definitely going places, so get packing for this traveller's paradise with a new adventure around every corner.
Amidst Beijing’s explosion of innovative towers and shiny shopping malls there’s an amazing historical panorama on display. At its heart is the Forbidden City along with sublime temples and ancient hutongs (alleyways) and, to cap it all, the start of the Great Wall is within easy reach.
Once the starting point of the Silk Road, Xi’an is a melting pot of cultures and religions. Must-sees include the incredible underground army of 7,000 terracotta warriors, the Ming-era city walls and the warren-like Muslim Quarter.
China’s largest city, Shanghai, continues to evolve rapidly. Peep beneath the skyscrapers and miles of luxury shops to find charming tree-lined streets, the Bund’s majestic colonial buildings, a fine arts scene and scores of places to eat and drink.
To truly experience China’s stunning landscapes take a cruise along the mighty Yangtze River. Flowing for some 4,000 miles it snakes from remote mountains and arid plains through canyon gorges to fertile regions of connecting lakes and waterways.
More of China’s natural beauty and panoramic landscapes can also be found along the Li River which meanders through a landscape of karst hills between Guilin and Yangshuo.
Further south in Yunnan province is atmospheric Lijiang, which nestles beneath the Jade Dragon Mountains, while in the province of Sichuan catch a glimpse of China’s most iconic animal, the giant panda, at the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre.
- Jaw-dropping man-made wonders
- Inspiring natural landscapes
- The food is incredible
- Excellent touring destination
- Impressive ancient heritage
- 5,000 years of culture