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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. 


Cruise the Yangtze River
Walk the Great Wall of China
Explore Xi'an's dining scene
Visit the Forbidden City
See the Terracotta Army
Do tai chi with the locals
Hike in a national park
Stroll the hutongs
Eat Peking duck in Beijing

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. 

Great Wall of China


  • There are many ways to experience the Great Wall of China but few are as memorable as hiking the ‘wild wall’ on a private tour with Imperial Tours which includes a gourmet lunch on top of the wall.

  • Walking the wild wall gives you a far better appreciation of the Great Wall of China. Here are my tips for going on a walk along the wild wall.

  • The Sofitel Legend People’s Grand Hotel Xian opened in 1953 as a State Guesthouse and has been welcoming travellers to Xi'an ever since.

  • The Peninsula Beijing is a 5-star sanctuary in the heart of Beijing, with some of the best in-room tech we have seen in our travels.

  • From its famous terracotta warriors to the ancient walls which enclose the city, Xi’an has an impressive array of cultural and historic attractions. However, its food is what we loved the most.

  • Beijing has no shortage of five star hotels but the Rosewood Beijing is several steps above the norm. Here is our review of the Rosewood Beijing.


Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.