Know Your Destination
Once again one of the leading nations in the world, the 5,000-year-old Chinese civilization has endured through millennia of tumultuous upheaval and revolutions, periods of golden ages and anarchy alike. The depth and complexity of the Chinese civilization, with its rich heritage, has long fascinated Westerners. And as a practical matter for vacationers to the country, some behaviors that are quite normal in China may be somewhat jarring and vulgar for foreigners…

Though Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou have a higher proportion of English-speaking locals than other areas, English is still mostly spoken only by staff at airlines, hotels, and the main tourist attractions. Otherwise, it is rare to find locals conversant in English. In addition, you must exchange US dollars for Chinese RMB at a bank or currency exchange.

Among the 220,000 kilometers of rivers the Changjiang (Yangtze), Huanghe (Yellow River) and Zhujiang (Pearl River) are the most famous. Yangtze River Basin is the cradle of Chinese civilization, as the many cultural-historical sites along the banks of the Yangtze River attest. a cruise up/down the Yangtze, is something that any tourist to the region would not want to miss, as it offers unique encounters with China's rich cultural heritage as well as some spectacular vistas that will remain forever etched in one's memory.

China has the greatest number and variety of world-class tourist attractions of anywhere in the world. China’s tourist appeal is emphasized by being so culturally different from countries outside of East Asia. If you are looking for a trip that is exotic, packed full of new sights and experiences, stimulating and over all different, China is the place to go.

 

Discover more about China in the 2016 Travel Planner Issue of Destinations Travel Magazine!


 

GETTING AROUND
Air
China is a huge country, so naturally there are many domestic flights connecting all the major cities and tourist destinations. Airlines include four international carriers (Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and Hainan Airlines), as well as numerous domestic regional ones.

Train
Train travel is the major mode of long-distance transportation in China, and the country has one of the biggest and busiest rail networks in the world. The China Railway Corporation network covers every province and region in mainland China. Its world-famous high-speed rail is the most extensive on the planet; the longest individual line extends from Beijing to Guangzhou (1,430 miles).

Bus
Traveling by public city buses or long-distance buses is ideal for in-city and intercity transportation. Local bus services vary from city to city, and are inexpensive and go almost everywhere. Long-distance buses are often more expensive than trains.

Subway
Major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou,and Xi’an, have extensive subway systems. The Beijing Subway currently has 15 lines and is expanding its service, while the fast-growing Shanghai Metro has 12 lines. The Guangzhou Metro boasts 8 lines and covers much of the city center.

THE REGIONS

Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin, Xian and Hongkong are the five best known tourist cities in China.
Beijing is well-known for its mixture of ancient culture and modernation. The most famous attractions in Beijing include the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City. Shanghai is China's largest and most prosperous city. It is feature a combined culture of East and West. Guilin is famous among tourists due to its beautiful natural scenery of water and mountains.

The Li River, one of the most beautiful river in China, runs through Guilin. A visit to Xi'an is a journey into China's long history. Xi'an served as capital for 12 dynasties over 1,000 years. The Terracotta Army is in Xi'an. Hong Kong is a fusion of many culture. 


 

Beijing
Beijing is the capital city of China (and its second largest city after Shanghai), and the political, educational, and cultural center of the country. Rich in historical sites and
important government and cultural institutions, its main attractions include the Forbidden City (home to the Imperial Court during the Ming and Qing dynasties), Tiananmen Square (the world’s largest public square), the Great Wall (just an hour away), and the National Stadium – a/k/a the Bird’s Nest – centerpiece of the 2008 Olympic Games.

Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest and most developed city in China, a teeming, modern metropolis of 23 million, and the country’s main center for finance and fashion. Shanghai’s skyline is fast becoming one of the planet’s most awesome and recognizable sights, with such singular achievements as the Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai World Financial Centre, the Jin Mao Tower, and the Shanghai Tower (which will be China’s tallest building when completed), all in the Pudong district.

Xi’an
3,000-year-old Xi’an was the capital for 13 Chinese dynasties and 73 emperors, and is the acknowledged root of Chinese civilization. No surprise, as it is a font of historical ruins, museums, and cultural relics, including the famed Terracotta Warriors and the world’s largest city wall, now restored.

Guangzhou
Also known as Canton, Guangzhou is the third biggest city in China, with a population of more than 12 million. Its urban park, Yuexiu, is the largest in China, but it is really known more for its cuisine, including more than 1,000 variations of dim sum – yum!