If you are searching for your next holiday destination, or perhaps you plan to spend some time travelling, you should seriously consider adding China to your wish-list.
A vibrant country, full of captivating sights and friendly people, China offers a unique experience unlike any other in the world.
The fastest growing economy coupled with some of the most mystical and historical tourist attractions means China is a curious blend of old and new, where ancient myths and legends fuse with contemporary culture.
If you are undecided about whether to visit this beautiful location, here are a few more reasons why it should be next on your itinerary.
Regardless of the reason why you might want to visit China, it’s impossible to describe the country without mentioning its stunning landscapes.
Although the cities are bustling, the countryside is open and wide, with lots of space. The mountains in particular are quite awe-inspiring, and the Yellow Mountains are said to have inspired the fictional landscape for the Hollywood blockbuster Avatar.
In China, there are many sacred places hidden in the depths of the mountain, some of which are accessible on foot. A cruise down the tranquil Li River will take you through the heart of some of the smaller peaks, which will stretch up to the sky on all sides.
The caves are also worth a mention, with Reed Flute Cave arguably one of the most famous. It’s a very popular tourist attraction and features impressive stalactites and stalagmites, plus scenic halls, all lit up by the soft glow of tiny multi coloured lamps.
With 5000 years of Chinese civilisation, the opportunities to explore the country’s colourful past are there for all to enjoy.
The Silk Road or the Tea Horse Trail are two historical trade routes which are very popular with tourists and provide a fascinating glimpse into the past. Alternatively you might prefer to join a tour which allows you to experience China up close and personal, visiting local residences, listening to traditional music and learning about old Chinese arts such as stone carving.
A visit to China would not be complete without visiting the Forbidden City, also known as Gu Gong. During the Ming and Qing dynasties it served as the imperial palace, and is the largest known complex in the world. There is still a collection of treasures from imperial times and the peaceful gardens and marble bridges are still a sight to behold.
The Great Wall of China
Arguably the most famous place in the country, it would be criminal to leave China without visiting the Wall.
You may wonder what’s so special about a wall that you’ve seen so many times on TV, but when you get the chance to touch it for yourself and clamber over it, you will appreciate the magnitude of the structure which is one of the few man-made constructions visible from space.
The Great Wall is officially listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and snakes for more than 4000 miles. Thousands of workers lost their lives building the wall as it was erected, which is why it was once dubbed as the longest cemetery in the world. With work starting more than 2000 years ago, the Wall truly is an incredible feat of engineering, resembling a castle more than a simple brick construction in many parts.
Although there are many inspiring sights to see in China, the chance to shop until you drop is something which has to be experienced too.
There are designers from all over the world in Shanghai where you can pick up bargains for a fraction of the price. The city has an ultra-modern fairy-tale vibe and you can wander amongst beautiful gardens in between some serious retail therapy of all kinds.
China tours offer an almost fantastical blend of the modern and the mystical, with so much to see and do that it’s difficult to fit it all into one trip. A real cultural shock to those arriving from the west, China provides a fascinating insight into a different world and it’s one that you will be loathed to leave.
Map of Shanghai Photo Gallery