Top five places to see in China
China is a vast, varied and beautiful country, which rewards its visitors with world-class sites such as the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall, stunning scenery including the limestone peaks of Guilin and the majestic Yangtze River, a diverse culture and exciting cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Without the bother of reaching for the guidebook, travel company Cox & Kings, specialist in arranging holidays to China, highlights the ‘must see’ top five places to visit. So dust off that bag, book a holiday and get packing!
Located in northern China, Beijing is the capital powerhouse of ancient history dating back over 3,000 years. This Far Eastern jewel is one of the great ancient capitals of China. As the Chinese proverb goes “A single day of sub-zero temperature is not enough to create three feet of ice”, so allow plenty of time to submerge yourself in this great city! A must see on any Beijing itinerary is the mighty Forbidden City. Situated in the heart of Beijing and built in the 15th century during the Ming Dynasty, the Forbidden City is one of the finest preserved imperial palaces in China. Stretched over 178 acres this UNESCO world heritage site features 90 palaces, courtyards, 980 buildings and 8,704 rooms. Marvel at the traditional architecture and imperial history before hotfooting it to Jingshan Park to see the panoramic view of the palace. Sunset is one of the best times to capture this awe-inspiring scene!
Xian, the ‘eternal city’ is one of the oldest settlements in China. Here you can visit a 3,000 year old banpo village with archaeological remains dating back to the Neolithic Age. The Famen Temple holding the finger bones of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, is a great attraction for Buddhist enthusiasts. Or if you seek an archaeological site that packs a punch, head to the Terracotta Army. Over 2,000 years old, the life size terracotta figures features 8,000 warriors and 670 horses positioned in battle, representing the armies that belonged to China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang.
The Yangtze River
To feel the beating heart of China is to experience the Yangtze River, the third longest in the world. Almost 4,000 miles long, the Yangtze entwines through 11 provinces. From glistening glaciers of the Tibetan plateau down to the rush of Shanghai, embark on a cruise to see some of its exhaustive natural beauty. Drift through the three mighty gorges Qutang, Wu and Xiling for one of the best views of soaring mountains and staggering landscapes in this oriental paradise.
Limestone pinnacles and luscious vegetation are the hallmark of Guilin. Featuring two rivers and four lakes in the south of China, Guilin is a region of beautiful bamboo groves, crystal clear waters and captivating caves. Enjoy a boat trip on Li River and flow past picturesque traditional fishing villages. Alternatively, head down below to the subterranean world of Reed Flute Cave. Over three miles in length, the cave allegedly dates back 500,000 years. Illuminated with eerie stalagmites and stone pillars, Reed Flute Cave will captivate even the most well-travelled tourist.
Off-the-beaten track, in the pocket of south-west China lays Yunnan, the sixth largest province. Yunnan is the perfect destination for the explorer who wants to get under the skin of this mysterious country, looking beyond lanterns, chopsticks and Chinese dragons. Yunnan is a trekker’s paradise and one of China’s best kept secrets. Delve into tropical rainforests featuring over 2,500 varieties of flora and fauna and 30 endangered species including red pandas and snow leopards. Venture towards Lake Dian filled with charming fishing villages and farmland, or head to the mountainous north-west to view the Three Parallel Rivers National Park. This watery gateway is a UNESCO world heritage site and where Asia’s greatest rivers Yangtze, Mekong and Salween collide in a staggering geographical wonder.
Cox & Kings, the luxury travel specialist for tailor-made holidays to China, was established in 1758 and is built upon high quality service and attention to detail. The company continues to flourish as an independent tour operator, with operations in London, the US, Japan, Australia and throughout India. Cox & Kings organises luxury tours to India, Latin America, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific and the Caribbean.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Cox & Kings is the world’s longest established travel company. Its history stretches back more than 250 years to 1758 when Richard Cox was appointed regimental agent to the Footguards (later the Grenadier Guards). The company’s fortunes grew hand in hand with the British Empire and by the early 20th century the company was acting as agent and banker throughout the armed forces and as a shipping agent. In 1922 Cox & Co merged with the Henry S King bank, which had strong connections with India. The bank became part of Lloyds and the shipping agency grew separately, evolving into the modern travel company.
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