Every nook and cranny in China is like a page off history books. See the past come to life as you stumble upon well-preserved antiquities with every step. At present, however, this massive land is not anymore just an antiquated museum of bygone glories. China is modernizing at a head-spinning pace, catapulting most of its cities up the world’s list of the most up-to-the-minute metros. This is the China the rest of the world has come to know – a land flowing with unexpectedly pleasant contradictions!
China is now the buzz of the town. The cradle of the world’s oldest sustaining population is now a tourist vessel for flocking travelers. Why not take your share of the good news and experience firsthand what this exciting country has to offer? Jumpstart your China exploration with its TOP TWO destinations:
The seat of the Communist regime in China; an aspiring, upbeat, and modern metro; and one of China's true ancient fortresses – Beijing is befittingly the Capital City of the People's Republic of China.
Beijing, with its unparalleled wealth of discovery, has been delighting, intriguing, and increasing the flow of tourists in the country. Get to experience travelers’ nirvana with Beijing's harmonious clash of modernity sprinkled with generous slices of historical charm.
A trip to Beijing is not complete without visiting the mandatory, must-see sight – the meandering Great Wall that spans from Liaoning province to Jiayuguan in the Gobi Desert. You can walk through rural villages in Hebei Province, camp by remote sections of the Great Wall hosted by local families, catch a rare insight into rural Chinese life, and explore original sections of the Great Wall.
Get a crash course of Beijing's vast and amazing history by visiting two of the city's most impressive historic and cultural bulwarks: the Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. To experience the other side of the spectrum, see the 2008 Olympic icons in the Olympic Green Common Domain like the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube -- both costly, striking relics that showcase China’s penchant for contemporary architecture.
What’s a trip without something tangible to remember it by? Try the Jade Shop and Silk Shop for truly interesting finds. After that, shop to your heart’s content at Wangfujing Shopping Street, everyone’s shopping haven that is now home to around 280 famous Beijing brands.
Shanghai is the most dynamic city in what is now to be the world's fastest changing nation. While known to be at the forefront in embracing the world's latest innovations, tucked between all the overwhelming modernity is your Old Shanghai. Behind the shadows of the modern edifices stands the true flavor Chinese architecture – temples that dot the alleys, along with street markets and classical Chinese gardens.
Have your favorite cup of coffee at Starbucks overlooking the neon lights of towering skyscrapers, eat the most exotic of street foods along the alley, or appreciate the temples and relics from centuries past – all this in Shanghai, a perfect blend of East and West.
With the shaded alcoves, glittering pools churning with carp, pavilions, and pines sprouting wistfully from rockeries, the Yuyuan Garden is surely one of Shanghai’s premier tourist sights. Another spectacular sight to watch out for is the People’s Square located at the heart of the city. It is garden-type surrounded by buildings and facilities for administration, cultural activities, transportation, and commerce, offering a panoramic view of the city.
You might deem Shanghai Old Town as another tourist trap, but its genuinely fascinating history and photogenic landscape sure is worth the trip there. Another tourist treat would be a visit to Xintiandi, a redevelopment based on the layout of an old Shanghainese neighborhood. This is now the go-to for a dose of upscale shops, bars, and restaurants where the theme “old meets new” strongly resounds.
And to make the most out of your camera’s memory, capture more precious moments in one of the finest buildings in PRC that has served as host to several world-class meetings and high-level summits, the Shanghai International Convention Center, just adjacent to the popular Oriental Pearl TV Tower. There’s also The Bund, which is a famous waterfront and regarded as the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years.
If Beijing has Wangfujing, then Shanghai has the 3.4-mile-long Nanjing Road to boast of! This is one of China’s premier shopping street and a must-see metropolitan destination, especially for the fashion-forward from all across the globe. For more traditional finds, Shanghai has their very own Silk Shop, Jade Shop, Chinese Medicine Shop, and Pu-Erh Tea Shop. Pu-Erh Tea is another of China’s national treasures that is a relatively recent discovery in the West. Here, Pu-Erh Tea production is highly regulated to ensure the highest quality and authenticity.
Having earned its well-deserved place among the world's top travel destinations, China, once the sleeping giant, has finally awakened to be an exhilarating and evolving metropolis that is setting the pace for the rest of the world. Come and see for yourself the world's next superpower, visit “Beautiful China” now!