Few cities can match Beijing when it comes to fascinating historical places to explore. There are half a dozen UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Beijing alone, just one less than the whole of Egypt. However, while China is famous for its iconic structures, it also has a welcoming human side. Even though communication can be a challenge sometimes, you are never short of locals trying to help. Beijing offers a vibrant blend of antiquity, culture and modernity, from hiking the Great Wall of China to a morning tai chi class with the locals and eating street food in the Muslim quarter in Xi’an. Pack your sense of adventure and get ready to experience the best of China.
Eat Peking duck in Beijing
Tai chi with the locals
China is a large country with varying terrain so it’s no surprise its climate varies greatly depending on where you are. In general, the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn are the most pleasant for visitors. Autumn is the best option as the weather tends to be sunny and the temperatures are pleasantly mild. Winters are generally very cold with snow falling in many parts of the country which can make sightseeing difficult.
There is more to Xi’an than its famous Terracotta Army. This town was located at the start of the Silk Road and has some of the best food in China.
Download a translator app before you leave home and learn some basic phrases. Few locals speak English outside the major cities.
Avoid travelling during Chinese national holidays. Locals also visit the major tourist sites and they’re so packed you can hardly move at these times.
Staying at a well-known western hotel chain with English speaking staff can ease any culture shock and make things easier when you first arrive.