China, from the icy north to the sandy-beached south, is diverse, gigantic, and constantly changing. So much so that you might not recognize it from one visit to the next.
Once closed off and difficult to navigate, China is now open for business although you will need a lot of time if you are really to explore this huge country properly.
Top picks in China
If you like big cities then Shanghai in particular is not to be missed, simply for its nightlife and modern vibe that makes you feel like you are being thrown head first into the future.
Beijing has a ‘big city’ feeling while at the same time preserving some of the world’s most famous cultural relics like the mighty Forbidden City, the home of the previous emperors of China, and the Great Wall, situated just outside.
If you like ancient relics then you should consider a trip to Xi’an in central China, also the eastern end of the legendary Silk Road, and the resting place of the world famous Terracotta Army.
For a completely different change of pace and a chance to do some serious climbing or trekking, head to Tibet, an autonomous region within China that is home to Mount Everest. If you don’t want to head out on the mountain then you can explore the fascinating capital city of Lhasa instead.