For many, travelling to China is the fulfilment of a lifelong dream; to explore the Forbidden City, home to Chinese Emperors over the centuries, to gaze in awe at an entire army of Terracotta Warriors and to walk proudly along the Great Wall that stretches for over 5,000km. For others, it is the allure of the adorable pandas that is the main attraction to China, yet these amazing experiences are only the first steps in discovering this fascinating country. China is a land of beauty with its poetic landscapes around Guilin, dramatic gorges along the Yangtze River and the striking alpine scenery in the Nine Villages Valley. The physical contrasts are great, from vast mountain ranges to forest wilderness and arid deserts. For the more adventurous, there is the opportunity to explore parts of China rarely visited by Westerners. In these remote areas, the people and their culture are a world away from the rest of China.
Following a proud history spanning 5,000 years, China’s importance in the world continues to grow as it emerges as an economic superpower of the 21st Century. Nowhere can this be better witnessed than in the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai. With its towering skyscrapers, designer shops and vibrant nightlife, it represents the pinnacle of modern China. China is a land with endless opportunities to offer the enthusiastic traveller. It is a destination that inspires and fascinates with its historic sites, diverse landscapes and rich culture. Yet beyond these great wonders, the most enduring memory is often the charm of the Chinese people themselves. China is surely a country that will leave a lasting impression on all who visit.
Time - China is 2 hours behind Australian EST
Language - The official national language is Mandarin, which has eight major dialect groups that are region specific. In addition, there are
Entry Requirements - Passports must be valid for six months beyond the length of stay. Visas are required for Australian travellers, the price
CHINESE GOLDEN WEEK
The Chinese Golden Week public holidays fall annually between 1-7 May and 1-7 October during which various sites and attractions will be more crowded than usual.
Beijing, meaning ‘Northern Capital’, is a city full of wonders and holds an important position as China’s historical and cultural centre. It is here where the old mixes with the new and, in doing so, provides a treasure chest of sites and attractions ranging from the Great Wall
Shanghai is China's largest cosmopolitan city, as well as the country’s main financial institution. The city is filled with an abundance of beautiful old buildings and modern-day high-rise developments that are architectural masterpieces, combining the China of yesterday with that of tomorrow. Shanghai is China's premier shopping haven and has much to offer its visitors, rightly earning it the name ‘Paris of the East’.
Xian, meaning ‘Western Peace’, possesses a history dating back to 1,000BC. The city served as the capital of China’s greatest Emperor, Emperor Qin Shi Huang, and was also the starting point of the world famous trade route, the Silk Road. Xian is home to the magnificent display of Terracotta Warriors, as well as an abundance of other historic attractions.
Kunming is the capital of Yunnan Province, home to a mixture of lush rainforests, mountainous snow-capped peaks and over 50 per cent of China’s ethnic minorities. The city is the gateway to the Stone Forest, a collection of massive limestone columns located 120km to the southeast.
GUILIN & YANGSHUO
Guilin is undoubtedly one of China’s greatest areas of natural beauty with stunning karst topography alongside the banks of the Li River. Bordering one side of the Li River, 65km south of Guilin, is Yangshuo, a perfect haven for relaxing in peace and quiet whilst enjoying the magnificent views on offer.
At the foothills of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the town of Lijiang is set within a beautiful valley. Its Old Quarter offers a wonderful array of cobbled streets lined with traditional wooden buildings and meandering canals.
Xiahe is set in a stunning mountain valley and is home to the Labrang Monastery, one of the leading Tibetan monasteries of the Yellow Hat sect. Many Tibetans gather here each year on pilgrimage.
One of the largest engineering projects undertaken by man is the damming of the Three Gorges area on the Yangtze River. This area offers some of the most magnificent natural scenery in China.
The city of Lhasa is not only the capital of Tibet but also its heart and spiritual home. It is here, on the ‘Roof of the World’, where one will find the Potala Palace, the winter residence of the Dalai Lama, and the Jokhang Temple, where Tibet’s holiest shrine lies.
CHONGQINGAs one of the most populated cities in the world, Chongqing has a wealth of resources, transport options, attractions and culinary delights. The biggest drawcards to this ‘mountain’ city are the Yangtze River, museums and natural scenery such as Wulong and Heishangu(Black Mountain Valley), and cultural attractions such as Ciqikou Old Town.
This small town is home to an amazing array of cliff carvings and scattered statues that rival many others found within China. There are thousands of figures influenced by Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian beliefs.
Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan Province and home to a grand selection of natural scenery, including Mt. Emei and the Nine Villages Valley. The Grand Buddha of Leshan and the Panda Research Centre are also located nearby.
Zhongdian is often referred to as ‘Little Tibet’ due to its location and traditional Tibetan residents. The town is set amidst some of China’s most striking scenery, with the main drawcard being the Songshanlin Monastery.
Dali lies on the edge of Erhai Lake at the base of Cangshan Mountain, a truly beautiful setting. Its Ancient Quarter is lined with narrow cobbled streets and traditional stone architecture, which lie within the original city walls. The city is home to the Bai ethnic minority group.
A natural gallery of botanical gardens and spectacular rock formations, Zhangjiajie was declared a World Heritage listed site by UNESCO in 1990. Its scenery consists of endless waterfalls, caves, rivers and approximately 243 imposing peaks, which are surrounded by over 3,000
Kashgar has been a historic landmark for the past two millennia as the crossroads of the famous Silk Road trading route. Merchants from across the East and the
NINE VILLAGES VALLEY (JIUZHAIGOU)
Located within the borders of Sichuan Province, the UNESCO World Heritage listed Nine Villages Valley is a magnificent alpine valley consisting of crystal clear lakes, lush forests and snow-capped mountains. Its name is derived from the nine Tibetan villages found within the valley.
Watch Documentary Videos of CHINA
In June 2010, Travel Daily TV reporter, Barry Matheson, travelled on our Wonders of China tour to document just what it was like to travel on a fully inclusive Wendy Wu group tour to China. Watch the 3 part series to see what he and his travelling companions thought of their tour.
CHINA Group Tours
CHINA Short Stays
Private short stay packages for the independent traveller.