China is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations and encompasses vast landscapes of grasslands, mountains, lakes, rivers, and coastlines. With its 1.4 billion population, China is a diversity of cultures and ethnicities, which visitors can discover in the rich cuisines, historical sites, and spectacular scenery.
Chengdu dates back to 4 BC and has many places of historical significance like Dujiangyan (the irrigation network built in 250 BC and still used today) and Mount Qingcheng (a mountain featuring palaces and lush greenery, and the birthplace of Taoism). But, perhaps the most famous draw of Chengdu is Panda Base, a breeding facility for pandas and other rare animals, where visitors can learn about and see the animals.
This 86-km waterway boasts magnificent views and is considered one of the world’s top 10 waterway wonders. The best way to enjoy the views of the karst landscape is by cruise boat, or take a bamboo raft for a more traditional experience.
This is China’s best-preserved imperial palace and the largest palatial structure in the world. It will take 2-3 hours, but for the best view head to the top of Jingshan Hill in Jingshan Park. Once you are done here, head over to Tiananmen Square, the site of the famous 1989 student protests.
Built more than 2,300 years ago and at a length of over 21,000 km, the Great Wall is a Chinese icon and a world wonder. There are different sections of the wall to explore, but the most magnificent is at Mutianyu.
Hike these mountains as you enjoy spectacular natural scenery that includes oddly shaped rocks, mystical seas of cloud and hot springs.
Head to Potala Palace, the highest ancient palace in the world and home to the Dalai Lama. This 13-stories-high palace has over 1,000 rooms and is the heart of Buddhism. Climb the 100 steps to the Red Palace and White Palace.
The climate varies by region, including cold northern winters (December to February) and southern rainy Monsoon season (May to October) The best time is in spring (April - May) or fall (September – October).