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Embarking on a China Adventure

Great Wall
Panda
Summer Palace China Beijing copyright qian © qian / Shutterstock

Embarking on a China Adventure

story by: Mike Williams

When the insatiable mysteries of the Orient call, don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s too hard to answer. A trip to China can provide a thrilling concoction or history, culture, beauty and adventure and is much easier than you think. It’s only half travel time than it is Europe is and provides limitless itinerary options to suit most budgets.

Typically, a first time trip to China will involve choosing between the cities of Beijing, Xian and Shanghai, or a combination. It’s not an easy choice, with each city showcasing three distinctive but equally magnificent aspect of China.  Beijing is the cultural centre and home to so many illustrious landmarks, such as the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Summer Palace. For sheer weight of history, you can’t go past Xian, which houses over 3100 years of history between its borders. Contrastingly, Shanghai, a pivotal global city, is the economic and technological powerhouse; it’s pretty good for shopping too.

The opportunity to sample famous regional dishes in their spiritual home might sway the choice for some foodies. Test your chopstick skills by eating Peking duck in Beijing, sit down for a dumpling dinner in Xian or enjoy Shanghai fried noodles from a local street vendor.
Of course, choosing between Beijing, Shanghai or Xian doesn’t even take into account all the other tempting opportunities, such as cruising along the mighty Yangtze River and seeing the famous three gorges, basking in the picturesque beauty of Guilin or marvelling at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

It’s not surprising that trying to decide on a China itinerary can feel overwhelming.  It is, after all, one of the world’s biggest countries, as well as the most populous.

The good news? You don’t necessarily have to choose between these incredible destinations. The right group tour can highlight the best China has to offer. Not only that, but group tours make it even easier and more reliable to get around, ensuring you see the different facets of China you’ve always dreamed of.

While Kiwis may find a significant language barrier when they visit China, this can really add to the adventure and the feeling of immersion into a totally different world. Group tours provide a safety net in that you’ll have the same English speaking guide throughout your journey and the comfort of knowing all arrangements are booked. Most importantly, you’ll be travelling with likeminded people, thirsty to get just as much out of their China experience as you are. 

There are plenty of options to choose from, depending on your budget, time and what you want to see. You could embark on a 13-day China Odyssey Tour, taking in the sightseeing smorgasbord of Beijing, including the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven and Forbidden City. It also includes a visit to the Terracotta Army in Xian, a river cruise in beautiful Guilin as well as the bright lights of Shanghai. Not enough China for you? The epic 25-day Splendid Yangtze tour showcases Beijing, Xian, Guilin and Shanghai, but also a magnificent 4-night Yangtze River Cruise and much more.

Click here for Cheap Flights to Asia or HOT China Holiday Deals

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