China is a vast and varied country, which rewards the visitor with world-class sites such as the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall, stunning scenery including the limestone peaks of Guilin and the majestic Yangtze River, a diverse culture and exciting cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
What to do:
Beijing is a modern and fashionable city whose cityscape is changing almost daily. However, it is still possible to see parts of the city that have changed little for millennia. Must-sees on any visit include the Forbidden City, built in the 15th century and a forbidden area for 500 years until the revolution of 1911, the intricately carved and colourfully decorated Temple of Heaven and the Imperial Summer Palace, located just outside the city. It is also possible to visit the Great Wall on a day-trip from Beijing.
Shanghai has in recent years become one of the world’s most dynamic cities, which can be seen in its gleaming skyscrapers and busy streets of neon. The city does still hold traces of its turbulent history from its boom days of the late 19th, early 20th centuries when as the major port in the East it became synonymous with recklessness and vice, but it is now a cosmopolitan city full of fine restaurants and eye-catching modern buildings.
Hong Kong is one of the world’s most modern and dynamic cities, yet beneath its gleaming skyscrapers and aside from its streets and shopping arcades of neon, Hong Kong can still give an insight into ancient Chinese customs and traditions. Explore the maze of streets around Western District on Hong Kong Island or Mongkok in Kowloon, with their street food stalls, flower and bird markets or venture into the little known green hills of the New Territories with their traditional small villages. Hong Kong’s transport system is a highlight in itself, especially the Star Ferry across the harbour or the Peak Tram which offers amazing views of the whole city