Tourist in China
What tourists want to know about China
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China

China is the worlds fifth most visited country by tourists, and modern tourist facilities are available in major cities.
The most populous country in the world and the third largest in terms of land area, China is a hugely diverse country with dramatic variations in climate, language, culture, customs and economic levels. From prosperous high tech cities to rural undeveloped farms, China`s varied and spectacular landscapes range from deserts to sub-tropical forests, from snow peaked mountains to shimmering paddy fields and everything in between.So where do you start when you want to see the best that this extraordinary country has to offer. Here are some suggestions.

The Forbidden City: Consisting of nearly a thousand individual buildings, the Forbidden City was, for nearly 500 years, the palace of the Chinese emperors - from the Ming to the Qing dynasties. Situated in the heart of Beijing to the north of the famous Tiananmen Square, this huge complex is now the palace Museum and provides a fascinating insight into a culture that developed untouched by - and well in advance of - that of the Western World.
Hong Kong: Do you visit Hong Kong at the end of your Chinese adventure or at the start? It`s a pertinent question because nowhere else in the country will you see such a fascinating marriage of east and West. Hong Kong was under British control until the lease expired in 1997 when the original Hong Kong Island and surrounding area was returned to China. It`s one of the most densely populated areas on earth and is home to more than seven million people. It remains a fascinating hive of commerce and industry with a modernist skyline studded with decidedly European architecture.

The Great Wall of China: At one point the world`s largest military construction project, the Great Wall was built over hundreds of years to protect the country from northern invaders. Building began more than 2,000 years ago and today the wall runs, in interconnected sections for an astonishing 4,000 miles. One of the benefits to visitors is that the wall is easily accessed from the Chinese capital, Beijing, but this massive structure passes through a wealth of landscapes and it`s said that one could spend a lifetime exploring all its secrets.

The Terracotta Army: It`s amazing to think that the Terracotta Army had passed out of all knowledge until a simple farmer digging a well in Xian uncovered what was to become one of the modern wonders of the world. We now know that these figures - numbering in their thousands - were never designed to be seen and were buried in 210BC as `guardians` to the tomb of the first Qin dynasty emperor. The artistry and individuality of the figures is astounding and has an almost surreal effect on the visitor.

The Three Gorges Dam: The dam is the largest in the world and the centre of a massive hydro-electric power plant. The dam, though, is just one of the sights to be seen on the mighty Yangtze River - the world`s third longest - which winds its way across the country from the Tanggula Mountains. Boat tours provide spectacular views of the mountainous terrain through which the river carves its way to Shanghai and the East China Sea.

Potala Palace, Lhasa: Now known as the Tibetan Autonomous Region, the former Tibet was the seat of the Dalai Llama whose Potala Palace sits on top of Marpo Ri Hill at almost 12,000ft. The exterior is impressive enough but it belies an interior of priceless works of art and intricate complexity.

Elsewhere in the country you can see giant pandas at the Wolong Nature Preserve near Chengdu, there`s the spectacular scenery of the Karst Mountains at Guilin, the ultra-modern cityscape of Shanghai and Sichuan Province`s Jiuzhaigou nature reserve.

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