China, the World’s Most Enduring Culture. Since the time of Marco Polo, the west has been fascinated with China. You can join an exclusive list of cultural explorers as you travel to a nation where the past lives side by side with a limitless future. From the legendary Great Wall and mysterious Forbidden City to the booming modern side of Beijing, a China trip pulses with a timeless energy. Experience how more than 5,000 years of history mingles with a thriving contemporary society.

Destination Must-See's

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The Terra-cotta Warriors of Xian:

Imagine scanning the horizon and seeing before you a mighty army, poised and ready for battle . . . Now see yourself some 20 miles outside of Xian, China, at the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, where just such an army – made of clay – stands guard. In 1974, farmers digging for a well struck gold: they uncovered the first terra-cotta warrior of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s ancient regiment. Emperor Qin, China’s first emperor, had his tomb constructed all throughout his reign, from 221 to 207 B.C. More than 7,000 life-size clay soldiers, horses, chariots, and weapons have been uncovered; excavation and restoration is ongoing. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1987. The detail on the soldiers is astounding – each one is said to have a unique facial expression!

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The Great Wall of China:

No visit to China would be complete without a visit to the Great Wall. Spanning nearly 4,000 miles, the Great Wall of China is the longest structure built by humankind. It is actually many different walls running parallel to each other, but never mind that. In the third century B.C., Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the same emperor who had the army of terra-cotta warriors built, began the construction of the Great Wall in order to keep out northern invaders. It was continuously built by various dynasties up to the 17th century, when the Ming dynasty constructed the best-known and best-preserved part of the wall. In 1972, U.S. President Nixon visited the Great Wall, leading to an increase in tourism and establishing this wonder as a symbol of China for the western world. Cross this must-see wonder off your bucket list!

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Beijing:

The capital of People’s Republic of China since 1949, Beijing has long been the country’s political and cultural hub. Eight centuries of ancient and modern development provide plenty to see. The Forbidden City, surrounded by walls and the world’s largest moat, was home to 24 emperors beginning in 1420. The Imperial Palace, or Palace Museum, is the largest in the world. Nearby Tiananmen Square, or “gate of heavenly peace,” is located in the centre of Beijing. It is one of the world’s largest public spaces. The National Museum of China, located within Tiananmen Square, serves to develop and preserve Chinese culture. The Beijing Zoo is a prime place to see the giant panda. All of this and so much more awaits your discovery!

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Pandas:

Pandas are unique to China, and they make an adorable mascot for the country. The giant panda gets 99 percent of its sustenance from bamboo in the wild. Deforestation, farming, and poaching have led to pandas being imperiled; they have only recently gone from endangered to threatened status.

Destination Must-Do's

Expert Advice

diana

Diana Ditto

Director of Product Design
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I suggest taking some time to explore the Bund, an area on the waterfront that showcases the colonial history of the 19th century. Oh… and Shanghai is the gateway to the terra-cotta warriors in Xian. Also head to the Pudong District and view the spectacular modern skyline. Embrace the best of both worlds!
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With origins in ancient China, Tai Chi is based in Taoism, and exemplifies the natural balance in all things. It has now spread worldwide, but take advantage of the opportunity to practice it where it originated.
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More and more Chinese are learning English so communication is easier but I always suggest learning a few key phrases like nǐ hǎo” (hello).

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