Few places on Earth can boast a richer history and culture than China. With one of the oldest civilizations not just in Asia but, indeed, the whole world, China has always been one of the most alluring travel destinations for people the world over, especially from the West.
With changes in Chinese policy over the past few years to emphasize greater trade and interaction with the West, the time has never been better to take that Chinese travel tour you’ve always wanted. That said, the question remains – just what do you want to visit in China, and where? China is a pretty massive country, after all. Even so, there are a few particular sites that every tourist should have on their China tour bucket list.
1. Historical Sites
When you have a culture as old and rich as that of China, it’s safe to say that historical sites are going to be one of the cornerstones of the tourism industry. The Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Army – they’re all among the most popular tourism destinations, and require little extra fanfare. That said, with so many tourists coming to these sites, you’ll certainly want to plan your trip ahead of time and try to visit on dates and times when things won’t be as busy.
2. Peking Opera Houses
Of course, major landmarks such as those mentioned above are just the beginning. To really delve into the spirit of any culture, you’ll want to visit sites which speak to their cultural past, present, and future. No trip to London is complete without at least glimpsing the reconstructed Globe Theatre, built near the original site and in the original style of the famed theatre which saw the premiere of so many of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.
Likewise, Peking Operas were one of the great Chinese cultural treasures throughout the latter half of the Qing Dynasty. As such, a trip to a Peking Opera House in Beijing is a fantastic way to experience one of China’s great cultural treasures. Choice options here include traditional Peking Opera Houses (such as the Zhengyici Peking Opera Theatre, built in 1688 and one of the oldest theatres of its kind) and more modern options (such as the National Centre for the Performing Arts, notable for its unique egg-shaped design).
3. Natural Sites
You can also plan an entire China tour around the vast stretches of natural beauty which dot China’s coastline and territories. A visit to Victoria Harbour can be a great way to experience its coastal beauty without traveling too far from civilization, while exploring some of China’s most famous rivers can help you experience the full breadth of the nation’s natural beauty.
And, of course, if we’re talking nature and China, a word has to be said about nature preserves and pandas. They’re as astounding as advertised, and they offer you a great chance to see one of the world’s most iconic animals in as close to its native environment as possible.
4. Hong Kong
For a perfect blend of East and West, look no further than Hong Kong. For English speakers, it can offer the easiest entry point into China given the high volume of Chinglish speakers in the area. If you can navigate the unique diplomatic and passport situation of the area, it’s a modern metropolitan melting pot like no other.
Experience China like never before with an incredible tour of its greatest sites.