Perhaps due to it being largely isolated during the 20th century, China still remains a land of much mystery to foreign visitors. However, in the last few decades, China has opened its doors to the world, and has become one of the world’s most out-of-the-box destinations for couples and families alike. If you haven’t made the trip already, here are 5 reasons why China should be at the top of your must-visit travel list.
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5,000 years of culture and history
Did you know that China’s early capital of Chang’an (known today as the city of Xi’an), competed with ancient Rome for the title of world’s greatest metropolis? There are many great civilizations from antiquity. However, few can match China’s continuous lineage dating back more than 5,000 years. And only China can claim to be a leading world power at multiple stages in history.
For History buffs, China offers layers of stories and narratives that beckon to be discovered. Why not follow tea all the way to its roots in Xishuangbanna? Or learn how a group of retired American Soldiers helped protect the Burma Road from Japanese invasion.
For culture enthusiasts, China’s cultural richness has been refined over millennia of dynastic rule, economic booms (and busts), and a vast indigenous ethnic minority population. Whether your passion is in food and wine, art and music, or architecture and gardens, exploring China’s heritage is a moving and rewarding experience.
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Awe-inspiring sites, both natural and man-made
China is filled with eye-opening wonders both natural and man-made. From the stunning Great Wall to imposing imperial palaces on a grand scale; vast deserts of the Silk Road to breathtaking views of Guilin’s limestone karst mountains; China’s landscapes are abundant, diverse and world-class. They also often offer something found nowhere else in the world such as the surreal landscapes of the rainbow mountains or striking karst mountains of Zhangjiajie. All this is perfect for travel veterans, or those who love to stay engaged, stimulated and inspired while on the road.
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Not just sightseeing but also active travel
In addition to offering spectacular sightseeing, a properly planned China trip also offers opportunities to immerse oneself in cultural workshops, exciting performances and active recreation. Take a class in Chinese calligraphy or landscape painting. Watch a kungfu show or a fiery Sichuan opera performance. Bike in rustic backcountry or go hiking in the snow-capped valleys of Shangri-La. The options are captivating and endless.
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Original source of Asia’s cultures
Many travelers see Asia as a destination alternative to the typical European holiday or Caribbean cruise. However many travelers don’t realize how much China serves as a source origin for the major Asian cultures. Japanese classical culture was inspired by the norms and aesthetics of China’s Tang dynasty during the 7th to 10th centuries. Vietnam used Chinese as their written language system until the late 19th century. The list goes on and on. For those traveling to the Far East for the first time, beginning with China is an ideal start. For others who are repeat visitors, a journey to China offers valuable context for enriching and deepening one’s Asian appreciation.
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Because China’s influence continues to grow
China is already the second largest GDP in the world and poised to become the largest within a few decades. More students in North America are studying Mandarin than ever before and Chinese businesses and consumers are becoming increasingly integrated with global markets and trade. China’s rapid ascension makes it ever more important for travelers to visit in order to understand what’s happening today, and to have a glimpse of how China may shape the future. In this light, a trip to China becomes about much more than leisure and sightseeing. It’s an opportunity to become informed on major economic, political and social issues with global and lasting implications.
Anyway you slice it, you’d better be sure to add China to your bucket list! Interested in going to China with the China experts? Let’s get started planning your trip by clicking on the button below!