China is a world economic power and one of the most exciting countries in the world. Its cities are cultural hubs, diverse, and packed with history. In this post, we look at some of the most exciting Middle Kingdom cities, helping you plan a trip to China.
China’s capital city is home to twenty million people. The city is a fusion of modern glass and steel skyscrapers and traditional China. It has over a hundred museums, archaeological sites, and palaces that span every corner of this magnificent city.
Most visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, which once was home to the Imperial Court. Beijing needs to be explored on foot as much as possible. Nearly every crevice is interesting, and the street food is delicious. The Great Wall of China is under an hour from Beijing, and that has to be experienced.
On the Huangpu River, is The Middle Kingdom’s largest city, Shanghai. Somewhat surprisingly, the city has a high number of buildings modelled on the Art Deco design. As well as modern skyscrapers you can see old colonial-era buildings which are situated in the Old Town. This is arguably the most culturally enriching part of Shanghai.
The Bund, however, which has a mix of old and new buildings is intriguing, and many tourists start their Shanghai adventure from here.
For great shopping head to the commercial centre, and to unwind from the vibrancy of the city head to Yuyuan Gardens.
To discover China’s history, Xi’an is arguably the place to come. Although the city now features the trappings of corporate China, the walls that once protected the city and the Terracotta Warriors and Horses are worth the visit alone.
From here the Ming Dynasty ruled as did thirteen other dynasties in total. Seventy-three emperors of China spanning a thousand years made this city the seat of their power.
Chinese civilisation seemed to start here and spread throughout the land. The city hosts several sites that will bring you cultural and historical enrichment.
Hong Kong is a fusion of cultures. A former British Colony for 99 years, the city sits in a backdrop of forest coated mountains. It has skyscrapers in abundance and in many ways you can see two cities in one. The older British ruled city, and the newer, China ruled city.
This is also reflected in the culture of the peoples that live here. This is arguably the best part of Hong Kong. Every place you visit is vibrant and enriching. The markets are particularly bustling.
If you find it too crowded, head for Victoria Peak for brilliant panoramic views, or get out on the water to appreciate the city from afar.
Before You Start Packing
Before you start packing your bags for a tour of The Middle Kingdom, you will need to arrange a visa. This can be difficult for mainland China, but tourist visas for Hong Kong are easier to come by. In fact, 170 countries can travel their visa-free. Therefore, it is a good idea to visit Hong Kong first before arranging travel to mainland China.