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With its narrow streets, elegant architecture, teahouses and exquisite gardens, China has long held appeal for discerning travellers, though China’s greatest charm stems from it being one of the world's oldest continuous civilizations. This means that a tour to China will be an enchanting odyssey through more than 5,000 years of history for you to discover.
Beijing is China's capital, and as it was home to the 2008 Summer Olympics, you can now visit the huge Olympics grounds. For more historic sites, stand in the middle of Tiananmen Square, visit the Forbidden City or walk along the Great Wall, the world famous man-made wonder. Regal fascination can be found in Beijing’s Summer Palace, the best-preserved imperial garden in China. Admire the enchanting natural elements and the graceful design of the temples, pavilions, halls, palaces and bridges. On your way back to Beijing, walk along the tree-lined Sacred Way, flanked on both sides by giant statues of animals guarding the entrances to the Ming Tombs. For a more rustic view of the city, ride in a traditional rickshaw for a behind-the-scenes tour of the hutongs, the ancient alleyways of the old residential area of Beijing. End your day by unwinding with a stunning performance at the world-renowned Beijing Opera.
On a trip to Xi'an you can visit Emperor Qin's famous life-sized Terracotta Soldiers and Horses, one of the 20th-century’s greatest archaeological discoveries. You’ll be amazed by these masterpieces, as you'll see that each soldier is slightly different. For a more serene structure, visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, an ancient holy place for Buddhists. The City Wall is also hard to miss in Xi’an, as it’s one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world.
Explore Shanghai, China's largest city and home to Shanghai's legendary Acrobats; you should definitely try to catch their incredible show. A trip to Shanghai wouldn’t be complete without a cruise down the breathtaking Yangtze River with its stunning surroundings and vast Three Gorges. You should also visit the Old Town and its lovely Yu Yuan Gardens, the grand Bund promenade and the Old Shanghai Museum for a dose of Chinese history. Also visit the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the highest tower in Asia, with its revolving teahouse and sightseeing platform which offers views of the waterfront. Try and spot all varieties of architectural styles from your high view point, including Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Art Deco.
If you’d prefer to see the China of picture books complete with narrow streets, simple and elegant homes and intriguing shops don’t miss the charming town of Tongli which has even been called the ‘Venice of the East’, and is a great example of the striking diversity of China.
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