When thinking of China, the words busy, ancient and even perhaps intimidating spring to mind. Whilst it’s a vast country with a population larger than anywhere else, there’s so much worth seeing and discovering. But, where to start? With cities, monumental sights and fascinating cultures galore, spanning over 13,170 miles it’s not an easy feat. For a destination like this, choosing an organised tour is often the best bet; everything will be arranged for you, from hotels, touring, transport and meals – meaning you can focus what you’re there to do, soaking up the incredible sights and culture.
For a first-time visit to China, in our eyes there are cities and sights that just shouldn’t be missed. Whilst it was difficult to whittle it down, we’ve listed our top three sights – that should get you started!
No visit to China would be complete without stepping on the mighty, Great Wall – it’s on everyone’s bucket list, right? Stretching an impressive 4,000 miles, it snakes its way from the Gobi Desert to the outskirts of the capital, Beijing. So incredibly vast, there are plenty of sections to choose from (not even the biggest of adventurers could tackle the whole thing)! Choose an escorted tour and you’ll often pay a visit to Juyongguan, our recommended section for any first-timer. It’s well restored and just 37 miles outside of central Beijing, meaning you’ll have more time to enjoy the whole experience. Whether you just want to say ‘I’ve done it’ or you’re raring to get to the very top, the rewarding feeling and sense of achievement won’t be comparable. If you’re eager to reach the top (it’ll take about an hour), you won’t be disappointed – the views are outstanding. Take a moment to soak it all up and admire the wall snaking through the hills in the distance. Don’t forget your camera either – it’s not often you get the chance to capture the Great Wall for yourself.
Central Beijing’s jam-packed with historical and cultural treasures, so be sure to explore these too. An escorted tour will take you to all of the hot-spots including Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City and the Hutongs – anything else you’d like to see, your expert guide will be sure to guide in the right direction or help you on your way. Stay for four nights and you’ll have well and truly ticked Beijing off your bucket list.
A relatively new discovery, the Terracotta Warriors were found in 1974 by a group of local farmers digging a well. Today, it’s one of the world’s greatest archaeological finds with tourists’ visiting in their hundreds of thousands per year. There are hundreds of figures with unique characteristics, expressions and even facial hair, standing in battle formation and accompanied by horses and chariots to protect Qin Shu Huang in the afterlife. Considering they date back all the way to 210 B.C., we think its incredible!
Escorted tours give you the opportunity to spend a day to learn about the history of the warriors – and your guide will share their expert knowledge on everything they know (and believe us, that’s an awful lot)!
No visit to the warriors would be complete without exploring the ancient city of its home, Xian. Take a walk or cycle around the ancient city walls, built in the 1,300’s and surrounds central Xian. It’s worth paying a visit to the Muslim Quarter too, its brimming with authentic food stalls – if you’re feeling brave make sure you try one of their local delicacies!
A two or three-night stay will get you to grips with the fascinating Xian lifestyle and ancient history.
The most modern of China’s cities, Shanghai has towering skyscrapers, a shopping scene fit for shopaholics and is renowned for its quality restaurants. For a modern experience, we’ve got two must-dos. Firstly, take a trip up 88-storey, Jin Mao Tower. It’ll give you the best views of the city – and on a clear day you’ll be able to see for miles! Secondly, make sure you take a ride on the super-fast Maglev. Whether its for your airport transfer or simply to experience the thrill of the high-speed train, don’t give this one a miss – it reaches up to 431km (268mph)!
Shanghai’s also brimming with ancient monuments and cultures including Zhujiajiao Water Town (otherwise known as the Venice of Shanghai). Step onto your small, traditional boat and float past stone bridges and water homes – its 1,700 years of history will open your eyes to the immense culture and local life all of those many years ago. Another essential boat trip is an evening cruise on The Bund; be amazed by the skyscrapers’ bright lights on the west amongst the colonial buildings on the east.
But that’s not all! Shanghai’s bursting with sights and attractions – we recommend staying for three to four nights to get a true taster for the city.
Choose an escorted tour with Wendy Wu Tours and they’ll take you to the must-see sights and hidden gems. Everything’s included too! If you still need persuading, take a look at their video – that’ll get you wanting to go!
To book or to find out more about our China tours, contact us today.