Things to do in China

The Great Wall is not just a link with the fabled emperors of the China's past, it is also a physical expression of our sense of the nation as separate from the rest of the world.

Walk in the footsteps of greatness

Besides its undeniable standing as an incredible triumph of engineering, to actually consider the enormity and significance of China’s Great Wall – a series of fortifications constructed from brick, stone, wood and packed earth that snakes its way across 8,850km of northern China’s mountainside – is to contemplate over 2,000 years of cultural isolation and political endurance.

You can visit for a day – there are cable cars and a toboggan run for those traveling with kids or who fancy more of an amble than a hike. Or indulge in a lengthy itinerary that combines nights in village homestays and guesthouses with daily hikes of up to seven hours. Either way, to witness firsthand this stunning feat of human achievement against a lush landscape of chestnut trees and blooms is to fulfill the trip of a lifetime.

See the sights

Try not to overload your itinerary; approached wisely, China is as uplifting as it is intriguing. There is something for everyone in China.

If crumbling dynasties are your thing, start with the historic buildings of Beijing, a city with over 3,000 years of history and a cityscape that changes every day. The Forbidden City is China’s whopping great palace complex and the country’s largest collection of ancient buildings; you’ll need a full day to explore it. More landscape, less history? Why not cruise the Yangtze River past the Three Gorges, the world’s largest dam and, incidentally, the world’s largest hydroelectric power station too. It's an awful lot prettier than that sounds. If you want to channel your Zen while drinking chai, head out to China’s ancient villages where picture-perfect pastoral scenes, feng shui, and tradition abound.
From soaring skyscrapers, to farmers working their mountain fields, or the simple beauty of rice terraces by night, there is little more fascinating than Chinese life through a lens.

Snap real Chinese life through a lens

Whether you’re a keen professional photographer or a budding amateur, anyone with an interest in snapping people and culture should take their camera to China. Discovering the country through pictures is an unforgettable way to learn more about its natural wonders, as well as the ethnic minorities that live among them.

Our top China Vacation

China culture & hiking vacation

China culture & hiking vacation

A wonderful experience of real China

From US $2830 to US $3600 14 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about China or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Eating & drinking

Chinese street food is a hallmark of the country’s culture. Snack stalls and night markets grace every city.

From the weird – donkey meat sandwich, anyone? To the wonderful – biting into a yu ci, a crispy ball of salt and savoury rice, is like sinking your teeth into a pillow of pure joy. Street food is an essential part of anyone’s China experience. Beijing’s Donghuamen Night Market, though not what we would term authentic, is a bustling taste explosion of everything from chicken hearts and grasshoppers to snakeskin on a stick.
Written by Polly Humphris
Photo credits: [Page banner: Emile Guillemot] [Walk in the footsteps of greatness: Vincent Guth] [See the sights : Jason Zhao] [Snap real Chinese life through a lens: Gerardo Ramirez] [Eating & drinking: Chantal Lim]