China is vast, varied and beautiful, with a population of nearly 1.5 billion. Its history, cultures and traditions span more than 3,000 years – the oldest continuous civilisation on Earth – and the sheer variety of landscapes, flora and fauna is mind-boggling. From the ancient Great Wall to the Terracotta Warriors there are many world-famous sites on mainland China to see. Regional cuisine styles are a foodie’s dream and hyper-modern cities such as Hong Kong are havens for shopping.
Mainland China has inspired travellers for centuries. To the north lie the windswept steppes of Mongolia, while in the south are the balmy islands of the South China Sea. To the west there are the soaring mountains of the Himalayas, and in the east the valleys and plains of China’s mightiest rivers. The first Chinese Emperor sought to unite ‘all things under heaven’, and China’s almost endless array of man-made and natural wonders – including some of the greatest spectacles on Earth – offer the perfect combination for a full and varied trip.
Seeing the Great Wall of China – stretching 8,851km in total – is a must, as is a visit to see the different ranks of soldiers, the chariots and the horses of the Terracotta Warriors near the fabled city of Xi’an, one of the oldest in China. For breathtaking beauty, don’t miss the Li river, which winds its way through stunning landscapes, while the bamboo forests of Sichuan are a good place to see China’s charismatic pandas.
The diversity of China’s cities is equally impressive. The capital, Beijing, once choked with smog but now enjoying clearer skies thanks to the largest air-purification system in the world, is home to such awe-inspiring sights as the Forbidden City, the world’s largest palace, and the imposing Tiananmen Square. Shanghai is a modern metropolis, where the fast pace is matched only by the rate at which the impressive, futuristic skyscrapers climb. And for less obvious points of call, visit the newest hotspots such as Chengdu, or head to the verdant and breathtaking city of Guilin, which is renowned for its lakes and mountains.
Whether you want to engage with history or savour fantastic food, seek out natural wonders or embrace regional traditions, China deserves exploring in depth.
Tempted by what you’ve read? Need a few more ideas about where to go, what to see and how to go about it? Contact us – we’re always happy to help you choose your dream stay.