Top five reasons to book a holiday to China
China’s rich mix of culture, history, modernity and iconic wonders makes it one of the most intriguing destinations in the world
1. The Great Wall of China
The urban myth that the Great Wall of China is the only manmade structure visible from space might have been debunked, but that doesn’t mean this incredible, 5,500-mile long wall is anything other than jaw-dropping. A series of fortifications many thousands of years old, it would take nearly 18 months to walk its entire length.
2. The Terracotta ArmyDiscovered in 1974, this staggering, 2,000-year-old mausoleum in Xian contains more than 8,000 terracotta soldiers, nearly 700 horses and 130 chariots, all made to protect the Emperor Qin Shi Huang in his afterlife. Seeing the sheer scale of this undertaking in situ is breathtaking.
3. Exciting cities
China’s two main cities, Beijing and Shanghai, are the two biggest in the world – a staggering 20 million people living in each of them. But that doesn’t mean they’re overwhelming to navigate – far from it. Beijing boasts both ancient history, in places such as the Imperial Palace, and contemporary culture, while Shanghai is a modern vision of China’s future.
4. Remarkable food
Chinese food is famous across the globe, but there’s nothing quite like eating it in the country itself. And even better is cooking it yourself, with dumpling-making classes becoming a really popular way to understand this vast nation's varied cuisine.
5. Intriguing wildlife
Pandas have been considered talismanic creatures in China since the Western Han Dynasty, when they were kept in the Emperor's garden of exotic animals. Today, The Panda Breeding Research Centre in Chengdu is a wonderful place to get up close to this fascinating creature.