Whether you’re keen on seeing the Great Wall, sailing down the Yangtze River, relaxing in a 5-Star hotel or visiting the historic sites, your China holiday will be ultimately unforgettable and unique, especially when you book with Travellers Choice!
The Great Wall of China
The construction of the Great Wall of China began in the 7th Century and today is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. 8,851 kilometres long, the Great Wall covers an expanse of various terrains, from the eastern district of Shanhaiguan all the way to Lop Lake, crossing mountains, deserts and Chinese towns in between. Tourists can visit the wall from several destinations around the country including Badaling, Jiankou, Simatai and Zhenbeitai. A trip along the Great Wall not only provides scenic sights of China’s evolving landscapes, but also allows visitors to learn about the Wall’s abundant history, from its defensive needs to its importance in trade along the Silk Road. Tours to the Wall are often combined with a journey to the Ming Tombs, giving tourists a true glimpse into China’s ancient past.
Keen to experience a bustling, northern city that boasts some of the best culture in North East Asia? Simply travel to Beijing! Beijing’s main cultural attractions include Tiananmen Square, which was built in 1417 and Summer Palace, a stunning piece of architecture on the banks of the Kunming Lake. The shopping in Beijing is also a must for any traveller; Liulichang Cultural Street provides for those who seek traditional goods and antiques, whilst the modern shopper will adore the array of department stores, such as Parkson and the Beijing Friendship Store. If you do plan to travel to Beijing, ensure you incorporate traditional dining experiences on your journey, particularly the iconic Beijing Roast Duck and don’t forget to try Imperial Official Food and Imperial Court Food, which are both derived from the ancient cuisines of the Imperial Palace.
In the midst of Beijing also sits the Forbidden City. The official palace originally belonging to the Ming Dynasty (and through to the Qing Dynasty), the Forbidden City was completed in 1420 and covers an amazing 720,000 square metres that is surrounded by a 52 metre-wide moat. Showcasing examples of traditional, Chinese architecture, the palace contains several enormous halls and courts, not to mention gates, bridges and marble terraces. A walk around the exterior and a tour through the interior is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the Chinese enthusiast.
Every China holiday requires a trip to the largest city that this nation has to offer – Shanghai! On the banks of the Yangtze River, Shanghai is a cultural, pulsating hub that combines modern travelling experiences with the rich culture of the orient. Popular sights here include the Bund, Shanghai’s iconic strip of architectural wonders, the colourful and vibrant shopping “district” of Nanjing Road, the 400 year old Yuyuan Garden, the Jade Buddha Temple, the Shanghai Museum and the Qibao Ancient Town. If you’re up for some modern viewing, however, don’t forget to check out the World Financial Centre and the Pearl TV Tower.
The Yangtze River
China’s longest river (and the third largest in the world), the Yangtze River is both breathtakingly scenic and packed with history. Winding for 6,380 kilometres, the river covers eleven of the country’s provinces and cities and finally gives way to the East China Sea in Shanghai. Dividing the country into northern and southern regions, the river not only provides a huge water system to the Chinese population, but is also a popular tourist attraction, giving visitors a peek into China’s incredible landscapes. Yangtze tours and river cruises are a must, especially with natural wonders like the Three Gorges on offer.
For those who adore history, the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor is located approximately 35 kilometres east of Xian and is the home of the infamous Terracotta Army Warriors. This World Heritage Collection of warriors were buried in 210 BC to protect Emperor Qin, China’s first emperor, upon his death and to give him people to rule in the afterlife. An incredible sight, the 8,000 warriors,130 chariots and 520 horses (and more) attract thousands of tourists each year, with many of the statues still yet to be uncovered in the excavations. This is a huge monument and a magnificent must-see for any China traveller.