China has one of the world’s oldest civilizations with a recorded history dating back 5,000 years. Its most famous national treasures are almost as old. The Great Wall was first built in the 7th century, the Terra-Cotta Warriors were buried in 210BC, and Suzhou, China’s Venice, is 2,500 years old. In recent years, China has been modernising at breakneck speed, and more and more airlines have been offering airline tickets to China for business and leisure travellers.
China’s neon-bathed cities – Beijing and Shanghai in particular but Hong Kong too – are the ones to seek out for the best in new design, restaurants, bars, shops, galleries and hotels.
Outside the cities, nature reserves and national parks show China’s diversity of landscapes. From plateaus and mountains in the west to lower lands in the east and huge rivers, the landscapes provide habitats for its animals, most famously the Wolong Nature Preserve, China’s largest panda reserve.
China is an emerging superpower, but it is also an empire with a mouthwatering variety of food – in the south rice and prawns, in the west spicy lamb and in the north, duck. More than a country, China is a feast for the senses.
(prices quotes are from London)