A blend of ancient culture and modern progress
China is an absolutely enormous country, which is home to the world’s largest population, representing almost 20 per cent all the people on Earth. In the last decade China has also grown in political stature to become considered alongside countries such as the US as one of the world’s major superpowers. The Olympic Games, held in Beijing in 2008, helped to show a more playful and gregarious side to the often introvert Chinese nature, which has helped to strengthen China’s position as part of the global community. An increasing number of western businesses are moving into the Chinese market, taking more and more business visitors to China every year. Tourism to Asia is also on the increase as people look to discover this enigmatic ancient country for themselves in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and the booming international financial centre of Hong Kong.
China has a very strong cultural identity that manifests itself in Chinese communities the world over, but nothing can compare with visiting this captivating, beautiful country and seeing it first-hand. Discover ultra-modern cities, ancient temples and warm and friendly people in the People’s Republic of China.
When to Go?
The winter in China can get bitterly cold so is best avoided. Summers can be very humid, so the best time to visit places like Beijing is in the autumn, around September and October when you can expect warm sunny days and mild evenings. Late spring is also pleasant, but Chinese New Year in early spring can be frustratingly busy as hotels fill up, transport systems become uncomfortably crowded, and lots of businesses close.
How to get there?
British Airways and Air China offer flights to Beijing Capital International (PEK) from Heathrow. Flights to Shanghai Pudong International (PVG) are operated by British Airways, Virgin and China Eastern Airlines from Heathrow, while BA also flies from Stansted. For flights to other parts of China you could book flights to Hong Kong Chep Lak Kok Airport (HKG) with BA, Virgin, Qantas, Cathay Pacific or Air New Zealand, and catch a connecting flight from there.
Head to Beijing to experience the exciting sights and sounds of this rapidly growing city, and visit the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. On the east coast, Shanghai is an awe-inspiring blend of modern high-rise architecture, ancient temples and countless museums and gardens. In the beautiful ancient city of Xi’an discover stunning temples, hundreds of spectacular royal mausoleums and the simply breathtaking Terracotta Army; row upon row of ornately-carved life-size stone warriors, chariots and horses that lay buried in the ground for over 2000 years until their remarkable discovery in 1974.