China is so vast that its capital city that has a bigger population than most countries. Book one of our flights to China and discover the scale, drama and variety of this incredible country.
The longest wall in the world, the Great Wall wends its way through spectacular countryside and over steep mountains and is one of the most recognisable sights on the planet. Eastern China is home to the ethereal Yellow Mountains which are the centrepiece of a wonderful national park.
And in Xi'an you'll find the Terracotta Army which remained unseen for more than 2,000 years before being rediscovered by farmers in 1974. Representing one of the most important archaeological findings ever, the hundreds of beautifully detailed sculptures depict a powerful army. This mighty force played a decisive role in creating a united country between 475 and 221 BC.
Once a 'palace city' into which access by ordinary people was strictly prohibited, the Forbidden City of Beijing is now open to all who wish to enter. It dates back to the middle of the 14th century and was the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties until 1911. In all, 24 emperors lived here and it is now considered one of the five most important palaces in the world.
Perhaps the Forbidden City's modern counterpart, the Bund in Shanghai is a glittering example of contemporary and confident China as it forges ahead in the 21st century. Thronged with skyscrapers and elegant buildings, the Bund is a captivating exemplar of one of the world's leading business districts.
The Li River in Guilin is as endlessly picturesque a location as you could wish for. The 52-mile-long stretch of the river which is lined with bamboo groves - between Yangshuo and Guilin - is the zenith of beauty, particularly with some disconcertingly gorgeous hills as a backdrop.
The landscape of Hangzhou's West Lake, with its mountains, green hills, verdant islands, tree-lined walkways and the odd bridge and pagoda is natural artistry writ large.
Climb Victoria Peak for unparalleled Hong Kong views of the acme of a modern city and its harbour. The gleaming, stylish towers of the city dazzle, especially at night when the cityscape is ablaze with lights and the South China Sea sparkles.
Chengdu is home to around 1,500 giant pandas which you'll be able to see at close quarters by visiting the Panda Breeding and Research Centre. To witness the pandas in their natural habitat, and get the best possible access, visit Bifengxia Panda Base and Dujiangyan Panda Valley.
Eating and drinking
A meal at Ultraviolet by Paul t by Paul Pairet in Shanghai is not only a must for the food alone but also for the experience which is akin to taking part in an installation artwork. Enjoy an avant-garde set menu and an audio-visual show that creates a unique ambience. For a more traditional experience and cuisine to match, Beijing's Garden at Lama Temple serves delicious noodles and dumplings - the friendly atmosphere is the finishing touch.
|Food and drinks||Prices average|
|Beer (0.5 litre)||£1.00|
|Meal at McDonald's||£3.00|
|Water (0.33 litre)||£0.00|
|One way tube ticket||£0.00|
|Taxi starting price (normal tariff)||£1.00|
|1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M,...)||£28.00|
|1 pair of jeans (Levi's 501 or similar)||£48.00|
|Average monthly disposable salary (net)||£705.00|