Once closed to the outside world, China has developed into one of the most sought after world tourist destinations. With Beijing hosting the 2008 Olympic Games, China has opened its doors and allowed the world to see the mesmerising culture and alluring attractions that have made this fascinating nation a mecca for travellers of all tastes and desires.
China is a country of diversity. From bustling cities of the eastern coast, to traditionally isolated villages of the Himalayan highlands; from the five-star luxury hotel casinos of Macau to the poor villages of Beijing’s periphery and from the ancient design of the Forbidden City to the revolutionary architecture of Beijing’s Olympic Stadiums, China provides an unforgettable escape for the cultural, historical, and adventure enthusiast.
The capital of China, Beijing, offers a vast array of world-renowned landmarks. Among these is the ancient imperial palace otherwise known as the Forbidden City, built between 1406 and 1420. Inside the Forbidden City stands the Palace Museum, exhibiting ceramics, paintings, bronze ware and other palace artefacts from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Empire. Visitors can also visit many other famous landmarks, including Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven Park, and the Great Wall of China (from just outside Beijing).
For those in search of historical wonder, the city of Xi’an is a must-see destination. Presiding over 3,100 years of ancient Chinese history, Xi’an is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. The most alluring attraction in this city is the Terracotta Army, an inspiring display of over 10,000 pottery soldiers, archers and chariots. Other attractions include the Old City Walls, the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and the Drum Tower.
Accommodation in China
In most major cities, accommodation styles and prices can vary quite dramatically. For travellers on a budget, there are cheap dormitories, hostels and guesthouses, which can be comfortable and include basic necessities. However, for those tourists looking for elegance in their accommodation, Beijing, Shanghai, Macau and other major cities provide an endless list of world-class hotel chains for you to select from.
Airports in China
Getting to China is predominantly done by air through Beijing Beijing Capital International Airport or Pudong International Airport (Shanghai). The major carriers are China Eastern and Air China, but most national airlines have scheduled routes into China on a daily or weekly basis. Due to its vast size and the increase in tourism over the past decade, China has developed its popularly-used domestic air travel system.