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China is one of the world's most exciting and diverse travel destinations. Boasting a rich cultural heritage, delicious food, incredible architecture and stunning landscapes from the snowy Himalayan mountains of Tibet to the tropical beaches of Sanya, it's little wonder China holidays are a growing favourite for travellers.

Currently experiencing an economic boom, China is these days a relatively inexpensive destination to visit. Visitor numbers have been steadily increasing in recent years, especially to China's so-called 'golden triangle' of Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai – a great itinerary option for first time visitors to the sprawling country.

The capital of Beijing offers so many fantastic sights that one could spend weeks here and still not see them all. Some truly breathtaking sights include the magnificent Forbidden City and Summer Palace complexes, the Temple of Heaven and even the cute and cuddly pandas on display at the Beijing Zoo.

China tours, oftening starting in Beijing and easily arranged by your hotel, usually include a visit to the stunning Great Wall of China and the mysterious Ming Dynasty-era tombs.

Cosmopolitan Shanghai, which can be reached from Beijing via a comfortable overnight train, was once called 'the Pearl of the Orient.' The Old Town, Yuyuan Garden and the Art Deco architecture of elegant waterside promenade the Bund, sit alongside the ultra-modern Pudong cityscape across the Huangpu river.

Such contrast is also present in the bustling port city of Hong Kong, with its colonial heritage, busy marketplaces and stunning city panorama best admired from the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade in the evening.

Embrace the cultures and contrasts of China

One of China's oldest cities, Xi'an still features medieval city walls and an old-world charm which serves as a reminder of the city's ancient roots. Experience the jaw-dropping sight of the Terracotta Warriors, immerse yourself in the winding streets of the Muslim Quarter, visit the beautiful Great Mosque and climb the Great Goose Pagoda for a lovely view of the city below.

China Travel Guide books tend to be lengthy, so it's best to set your sights on a select few locations or a single province as it is impossible to see everything in one trip. One good idea is to arrange your flights to China to fly into one city and leave from another, savouring as many sights as possible in between.

You'll be enraptured by what you see, ensuring another trip to China is no doubt not far off the horizon.

Travel Extras