Regions in China

With all of its diversity and vastness, one trip to China will leave you wanting more – from bustling cities of modern skyscrapers and historic temples such as Beijing and Shanghai, to the giant pandas in Chengdu and magical Guilin, where you'll find beautiful landscapes of jagged mountains and winding rivers, China simply has everything.

An intoxicating fusion of old and new, Beijing offers an ideal introduction to China, with famous landmarks such as the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, while around Beijing, the ethereal Summer Palace is simply beautiful, and then (of course), there’s the iconic Great Wall, which can be reached in a day trip from the city and is a must-see. Beyond Beijing and around northern China, see the ancient walled city of Pingyao and the historic city of Datong.

Shanghai is a feast for the senses, from some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers to Buddhist temples and stylish modern museums. Stroll along the historic Bund promenade, shop ‘til you drop, tuck into diverse cuisine and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant cultural scene. Further afield, visit Hangzhou and be creatively inspired by the West Lake, which is known as ‘Heaven on Earth’, and explore the mountainous Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, which inspired the film Avatar.

Located at one end of the Silk Road and home to the famous terracotta warriors and the country’s most adorable residents - giant pandas - Xi’an, Sichuan and central China have a lot to offer lovers of history, culture and wildlife. See the incredible life-size terracotta warriors in Xi’an and giant pandas in Chengdu, and explore picturesque landscapes of alpine valleys, villages, cliffs with carved Buddhas and clear blue lakes as well as caves of impressive coral and stalactites. 

If you venture to southern China, you’ll be rewarded with traditional villages, lush tropical landscapes, green rice terraces and beautiful coastlines. The quintessentially Chinese scenery of Guilin, with its stunning scenery of dramatic limestone cliffs, has long been a magnet for artists and writers, and it’s easy to see why. The rice terraces of Longji, set on steep slopes dotted with ancient villages, are another potent symbol of China and a must-see.

Get off the beaten track in Yunnan, in south-western China, and experience the temples and parks of Kunming as well as the beauty of rural China. Yunnan’s landscapes are a showcase of snow-capped mountains, limestone karsts, dense jungle and glassy lakes. Stay in hilltop lodges with panoramic countryside views, visit villages and remote farming communities where life has barely changed for centuries, go cycling or trekking along mountain trails and around terraced rice fields, and experience some of the region’s diverse indigenous cultures.

Head west to discover China’s wild and unspoilt regions, with glacial lakes, evergreen forests, mysterious caves and arid deserts like the Taklamakan, which is flanked by imposing mountain ranges. The old Silk Road network was once used by merchants and traders to trade goods like dates, spices and the most sought-after item – silk. It still makes for an incredible journey today, with visitors going down the routes that connect east and south Asia to Mediterranean Europe.
Chanting monks in orange robes, beautiful monasteries and snow-capped mountains - Tibet is not only a spiritual realm but a place of outstanding beauty in China. Known as the ‘roof of the world’ for being the highest plateau on Earth, a retreat to this mountainous region offers show-stopping views of the unfolding valleys and glassy lakes.

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