An immense and difficult to understand country, China is located in the heart of Asia and is a must-see travel destination in the region. From the secular capital Beijing to the contemporary and cosmopolitan Shanghai, from the Great Wall of China to the Terracotta soldiers, from Kashgar and all the west to the Yangshuo rice paddies, from the Chengdu pandas to the natural parks like Jiuzhaigou, to the mythical Trans-Siberian Railway. All good excuses for upcoming China holidays.
In practice, Hong Kong and China are two different countries. China established both Special Administrative Regions in Hong Kong and in Macao, granting them administrative autonomy and a capitalist economy. Interesting huh? One country, two systems, two currencies.
China is a nation of immense size. Before going, then comes the time to ask the question: what should I know?
The options are numerous, and each has its potential, its unique beauty, and its striking features. The range of options is so vast that it is impossible to draw a single itinerary and say 'that's it!' But of course, if we have say 10 days of travel, there are those points not to be missed. In the same way that you cannot go to Rome without visiting the Vatican, you cannot visit China and not visit the Wall.
So if you are thinking of going to China to get to know the country, discover its culture, we will leave what is a must, in our opinion. Now, just to get an idea, to visit China 'basically' takes 15 days within the borders, at least. The best time of year is between April and May, and September and October. Those who do not mind a bearable cold can risk March and November as well. The rest of the year is extremes of heat and cold.
There are those who love to travel in winter and those who prefer to do so in the summer. But in China, the peak of the two seasons are extremely uncomfortable. In winter the cold temperatures go below 0 degrees Celsius at the main sights. And in the summer, they can reach 40 or 45 degrees Celsius with a thermal sensation of 51 degrees Celsius as the country experienced in 2013. Therefore it is best to schedule holidays to China in either spring or autumn.
Within this vast country, what is the 'basic package' for Chinese holidays?
Beijing: Of course, this city is the capital of China, where people in the West know the main monuments and sights. Here is usually the starting point for holidays in China. Traffic is chaos, and pollution is at one of the highest rates in the world. The subway is a good transportation option. Here we recommend spend four days and visit the strategic points: The Great Wall - the only one that you need to hire a guide or at least take a tour (usually offered by the hotels). It is 70 kilometers from the city. And this walk requires one day. Otherwise there is The Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, and Pedestrian Street - this is where you will find the famed stalls with weird little critters to enjoy (scorpions, cockroaches, beetles, seahorses). But it is worth mentioning this is a tourist attraction and the Chinese no longer eat that type of food. On this street, you can also find the most famous restaurant that serves the 'Peking Duck,' for those who like it. And to finish, the Olympic Village which nowadays it is part of tourist itineraries in Beijing.
Shanghai is the nerve center of China. A modern, globalized city, full of constructions that sit somewhere between traditional China and the new China that is more open to the world. Shanghai is a city divided by a river, the Pu Huan. On one side is the most modern part: Pudong, and on the other, the glamorous Shanghai of the 1920s still survives: Puxi. Also here, four days is the minimum time to spend on holidays in China. And we advise that it be in the middle of your trip because it is possible to eat good quality western food and thus to give you respite from Chinese gastronomic adventures.
In Pudong, the highlight is the Pearl Tower and the other three buildings that characterize this area, called the Three Brothers: Jin Mao Tower, the SFC, or Shanghai Financial Center and Shanghai Tower. If you want to go up in one of them to see the grandeur of the city, we recommend the SFC, because it is taller and more modern. However, only go if the sky is clear. Otherwise, you will see practically nothing. Another tip is to go in the late afternoon so that you can look out over the city during the day and at night with all its lights. Too beautiful!
You can also take a boat trip along the river and see both sides of the river and its striking features of old and new play out before you.
There are several parks in this area of the city, for example Century Park, the Science and Technology Museum, as well as the EXPO Site, built to house EXPO 2010, and is now used to house exhibitions, as well as great shows. But it is good to point out that this part of the city is all super high tech. All that exists here was built only 30 years ago at the most.
Puxi is where you will find more traditional and charming attractions. For us it's the best part of Shanghai, it seems like everything 'pulsates' more...it's more intense, more alive. In Puxi, we can see the various constructions in a simpler way, because they are there, side by side.
There is so much that options of places to visit here on your Chinese holidays are immense, but to stick to the basics, we can summarize as follows; People Square, Bund, the Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden, French Concession, Jin'an Temple, Nanjing Road. Of course in the middle of this, there are other unusual places where particular attention should be paid.
Hangzhou and Suzhou are two cities near Shanghai and are worth exploring. They are part of the so-called 'Oriental Venice' because they are bisected by rivers and canals (which facilitated the famous silk route), with gondolas and everything else. To get there, the best option is the bullet train. From Shanghai to each of these cities, the journey is approximately one hour and 15 minutes. You can go back and forth on the same day.
Hangzhou has as its main attraction the West Lake - Xi Hu. In addition to temples and tea plantations. The tea museum and the traditional tea ceremony, are curious attractions to see on holidays to China.
Suzhou stands out for its pearl farms, silk museum and Humble Administrator's Garden - Zhuōzhèng Yuán. Suzhou today is also known as the city of brides, as it has a $72 million mall only stocking dresses and accessories, as well as several more street stores.
Xi'an is the city where the Terracotta Warriors are located. This a site that, like some things, is hard to explain. It is necessary to see them. And this is one of those cases. As many words as we can put here, visualizing those millions of soldiers buried by an emperor who wanted to secure his good afterlife when he died is indescribable. A trip of three days is enough. Leaving Shanghai for here is a 2.5 hour flight. The city is well structured with subway, international hotels, and various facilities. Just as in Beijing, to visit the Terracotta Warriors, you need a 'tour.' It is almost 2 hours from the city.
Traveling for China holidays is a little more complicated than it seems, the language and symbols make your trip more difficult than you thought. To avoid problems, it is best to book in advance. If you are looking for where to stay in China you’ve come to the right place.
The best months to travel to China, from our point of view, are April and May (spring) and from mid-September to mid-November (fall). The temperatures are super nice, you will just need a light sweater in most cases, and you will be able to enjoy long walks in comfort for your adventures on holidays to China.
Several companies fly to China and flight time is similar for all of them from Europe, normally 21 hours, the difference is due to the waiting time between connections that can make your trip take up to 30 hours quickly. Our advice is to break the trip, to stop halfway to stroll, to sleep and to continue traveling the next day because in all the airlines cases the stopover does not change the price of the passage. For example if you choose to travel by Emirates you can visit Dubai, Lufthansa stop in Frankfurt, Turkish visit Istanbul, South Africa Airways a stop in Johannesburg, then many are the options, as for prices Air China usually have the best deals for your holidays and South Africa Airways has the shortest flight time, so up to you.
This is a country that will assault all of your senses on holidays in China. We would advise not to try to be too adventurous if this is your first trip, especially if you believe there is the possibility of to explore the country more in-depth in the future.
Holidays here will expose you to fresh sights and sounds, there’s a new language you have to process, new and wildly different customs, different cuisine, and a different climate and time zone. So it pays not to make your itinerary too hectic.
China is one of the richest countries for its ancient culture, as well as possessing 48 sites listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Only Italy has more than China.
China is a country geared towards the economic world and tourism. In the case of tourism, China wants to attract the world to show what they have of tradition, but especially of modernity and technology. On the wall of China, everyone has heard of it. But on the Shanghai subway or the thousands of miles of rail lines with trains of very high speed, there are still many Westerners who cannot even imagine how sophisticated it is.
Discover this magical country with Booked.net China holiday packages.