For thousands of years, China has kept to itself, steeped in 5,000 years of hidden history. What makes China attractive as a travel destination is its fascinating culture and valuable antiquities. Ruins and relics from Neolithic settlements and the dynastic reigns of the mighty emperors are there to behold. The Forbidden City, Great Wall of China, and Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an are just some of the incredible attractions to be seen in this ancient Eastern empire. The major cities, like Beijing and Shanghai, are modern metropolises offering fast food and glitzy stores alongside centuries-old historical buildings and traditional eating houses. Archaeological wonders view with amazing architecture in the interior, while majestic mountains and remote monasteries crown the northern areas.
One of the best ways to explore this amazing country is on an organized tour, but independent travel is becoming easier and more popular. Millington Travel has staff who can offer a wealth of personal knowledge from their own visits to this fascinating and highly recommended destination, so we are well placed to offer the best independent advice.
Millington Travel’s Top Ten Things to do in China
- Tiananmen Square. Don’t forget your ‘selfie’ in front of Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum.
- The Forbidden City. A huge collection of ancient, well-preserved buildings from the Ming and Qing Dynasties
- Chengdu Giant Pandas. See these lovable animals up close.
- The Great Wall of China stretches over 4000 miles, viewed best at Badaling, Mutianyu & Jinshanling
- Summer Palace. A stunning palace and gardens, built in 1750, and an Imperial Residence until 1908.
- The Bund. Shanghai’s famous promenade with a vibrant atmosphere. Cross the river for captivating city views.
- Terracotta Army. Discovered by accident in 1974, 6000 life-size figures, built to guard the tomb of the First Emperor.
- Banpo Village. Dating back to 5000BC, it’s the world’s finest example of an agricultural Neolithic settlement.
- Hangzhou. An ancient capital city, described by Marco Polo as “beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world”
- Suzhou. Described as China’s Venice, a visually stunning city of waterways, temples, architecture, and gardens.
When to go?
Most of China has cold winters when many tours do not operate. Summers are a great time to visit when the weather is hot across most of the country. The best time to visit, however, is June, September, and October, when temperatures are at their most comfortable for sightseeing. China has yet to develop many beach resorts, but Hainan Island in the far south is a good choice and is best visited in April & May, but the summer months are also hot and sunny with more rainfall.