About China

China, the gateway to East Asia, is a fascinating country. It is an ancient civilization that gave the world Peking Man, gunpowder and noodles. Visitors making their first trip to China usually stick to the larger cities. More experienced visitors to the Middle Kingdom will strike out in other directions, where traveling may be a bit more frustrating because of the language barrier, but most definitely doable for independent travelers.

Top places to visit in China:

Beijing

Beijing

Beijing is the current capital city and remains one of the most popular places to visit in China. Its history dates back more than 3,000 years and much of that history is still alive within its borders. Beijing literally means Northern Capital, a role it has played many times in China’s long history. The city is home to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the National Museum of China

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Located off China’s southeastern coast, Hong Kong is a glittering, world-class commercial center where Chinese culture, British colonial influences and modern day high-technology blend together. While it contains the world’s highest concentration of skyscrapers and one of the highest population densities, Hong Kong also offers plenty of green spaces, mountain views and beaches.

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is an assemblage of smaller walls built by various dynasties over many years. Builders erected these walls for protection from invasions by those from the north. The Great Wall itself, with a history lasting over 2000 years, measures approximately 8,800 km (5,500 miles) in length, although some of the sections lie in ruin or have disappeared altogether. It is the longest man-made structure in the world. There are several sections of the Great Wall of China that visitors find interesting. Badaling is the most popular section of the wall. It is close to Beijing and easy to access and climb.

Shanghai

Shanghai

Located on the East China Sea and the mouth of the Yangtze River, Shanghai is the largest city and most developed city in China. Its skyline is filling with skyscrapers while shiny shopping malls, luxurious hotels and prestigious arts centers are rising alongside. The city nights in Shanghai are representative of the Western view of China cities with bright neon signs, bustling streets and numerous businesses. The most popular place to go for a stroll is the Bund, Shanghai’s colonial riverfront along Huangpu River.

Xi'an

Xi'an

Xi’an was once the start of the indispensable Silk Road that made commerce between many countries in Eurasia possible. It was also the imperial seat for no fewer than eleven dynasties, before the unification of China between 1000 BC and 1000 AD making it one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. Its most famous attractions is the rather recently discovered Terracotta Army, the protectors of the tomb of the first emperor of China.

Lhasa

Lhasa

Lhasa is one of the most important cities in Tibet and one of the highest elevated in the world at 3,500 meters (11,500 feet). Lhasa, in spite of its absorption into greater China, has retained much of its culture. It is home to the Potala Palace, which was the former home of the Dalai Lama. The palace was constructed on the Red Hill more than 360 years ago. It is composed of two parts, the White Palace, where the Dalai Lama lived, and the Red Palace, where religious study took place.

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