Visit adventurous and ever-changing China
The size and shifting personality of China means one visit isn’t enough to appreciate everything it has to offer. The vast nation displays its colourful history for all to see, yet this glimpse of centuries past is seen alongside rapidly growing industry. Magnificent scenery, world-famous landmarks and vibrant urban areas wait for you on a holiday in China.
Condensing China’s history down to a paragraph is impossible. Beijing is the capital and the area that attracts the most visitors per year. It isn’t all busy city streets, as in Beijing you will find the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City, home to the World’s largest palace. Xi’an is the capital of the Shaanxi Province and where you can see the famous Terracotta Army. Close by is the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Buddhism has played a major role in the history of China and beyond. A glimpse of this influence is found at The Mogao Grottoes, where Buddhist art is featured alongside over 50,000 historic artefacts.
To experience the hustle and bustle of China and mix with locals and other travellers, Shanghai is a must. This thriving metropolis is situated on the Yangtze River and acts as East China’s financial, technological and cultural hub. In Shanghai you can expect similar attractions to other major cities - bars, nightclubs, and music venues - but with an authentic Chinese flavour. Jade Buddha Temple contrasts against the towering skyscrapers, while The Bund waterfront is symbolic of the city. Hong Kong is a financial capital of the world and so much more. Global fashion brands have a presence there for the city’s discerning shoppers, yet you can also browse one of the many street markets for hand-crafted goods.
The opposite of China’s non-stop urban areas are its vast forests, tranquil mountain lakes and deep valleys. The turquoise water of Jiuzhaigou is fed by snow melting at the park’s peaks, which reach 4,700 metres high. Words can’t do Tiger Leaping Gorge justice, as this outstanding canyon is one of the deepest in the world. Pandas are a prominent symbol of China and their natural habitat is at Chengdu. You can visit one of the captive breeding centres to see these adorable but endangered animals up close. The legendary Mount Everest sits between the borders of Tibet and Nepal, but you don’t need to commit to scaling it to appreciate the peak. A hiking tour lets you admire the landscape from a lower altitude.
Food defines China for many, and is a big part of life for its residents. Fine cuisine is served up in Shanghai which draws from the traditional methods and ingredients used in various regions. The diversity of Hong Kong sees Chinese food mix with Western dishes, and you can quickly grab a bite at one of the many street stalls. The food in Guilin is more traditional and you will be presented with dishes such as stewed duck, chestnut rice dumplings and mi fen, the local rice noodles.