China is an awe-inspiring country which delights its visitors with a sublime mix of ancient traditions and modern elegance. It’s here, where you can find some of the world’s most dynamic cities next to idyllic laid-back towns with beautiful cobbled streets and traditional wooden houses, small canals and colorful markets.
Take for example the fabled Silk Road which evokes pictures of nomads, merchants and caravans travelling across the picturesque landscapes between the Arabian Peninsula and the Far East. Retrace the route through Beijing, past the cities of Xian and Dunhuang with further stops in Tashkent and Volgograd before arriving in Russia’s bustling capital Moscow.
Another highlight of this fascinating country includes Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, a wonderful cosmopolitan city famous for its ‘Giant Panda Research Base’ where you can observe these amazing animals up close.
China is also associated with one of the world’s most magical places – Shangri-La! First described by writer James Hilton in his novel Lost Horizon in the Thirties, this mythical Himalayan region has an average altitude of more than 9000 feet and is home to several ethnic groups, an abundance of animals and mesmerizing natural scenery.
Did you know that tea drinking is very popular all over China? The tea-plantations are located in scenic mountainous areas, surrounded by seemingly endless agricultural fields and rice paddies. Visitors can see how tea is produced and learn how a traditional Chinese tea ceremony is held.
And then there are Hong Kong and Macau: both located on China’s southern coast, the two cities boast an incredible mix of East meets West and old meets new. These two former colonies are the only Special Administrative Regions in China and home to a very unique and modern culture. While Hong Kong scores with the fascinating blend of Chinese heritage, British influence, towering skyscrapers and ancient Chinese sites, Macau -a former Portuguese colony- has developed to a modern and vibrant city which is now widely known as Asia’s Las Vegas.