Old sayings in China “If you want to see China of 100 years ago, visit Shanghai, China of 500 years ago, visit Beijing and China of 2000 years ago, Xian. I recently had an opportunity to visit all three unique cities.
China is one of the biggest countries in the world and has a population of over one billion. I flew Air Canada direct non–stop into Shanghai returning from Beijing. Canadians visiting China must obtain a Chinese visa. Your travel professional can assist.
China is a year-round destination but the ideal months to travel are May, September and October if you want to escape the busiest tourist months, heat and humidity. Although China is a vast country with wide-ranging climatic conditions, the best time to visit should be based on the regions and the kind of weather you enjoy.
My first stop was Shanghai, the biggest and most prosperous city in China. This coastal city showcases the modern aspects of China although the wharf area called the Bund was for a time mainland China’s largest financial hub. Shanghai is China’s most populated city with over 20 million people. Getting around can be difficult with so many people. I would encourage you to orientate yourself in this beautiful metropolitan city by booking a full day tour with an English speaking guide. The official language in China is mandarin which often creates a challenge to communicate with the locals.
Allow a half day to visit the Jiangnon Silk Museum. This museum exhibits some of the most elaborate displays of silk products. Once called “soft gold”, silk is a treasure of China and is produced from the cocoons of silk worms and turned into the beautiful fabrics. Be sure to leave room in your suitcase for some silk purchases. I found silk filled duvets excellent value and easy to pack.
From Shanghai, I travelled by plane north to Suzhou, the Oriental Venice. Suzhou is known as “a place where boats and carriages are gathered and many roads lead to all places in China. This scenic “paradise on earth” is located in the center of the Yangtze Delta. This desirable location nurtures the beautiful Lingering Gardens, one of the four most famous gardens in all of China.
My next stop was Xian. Xian boasts more than 4,000 historical sites with over 120,000 pieces of unearthed cultural relics so you will need a couple days to explore. A visit to the museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses is a must.
Beijing, the capital of China, is now the world’s most popular tourist destination is a world. This famous ancient city offers endless historical and cultural experiences. Imagine standing in Tiananmen Square?
China still offers good values in hotel accommodations, meals, entertainment and excellent shopping when compared to other world-class destinations. This country offers a variety of accommodations to suit any budget. Authentic family style dining is the most popular allowing you to sample 16 – 24 local dishes. My experience in China was not long enough and I plan to return to explore more of this vast country.
Leisure Travel Consultant
UNIGLOBE Instant Travel Inc.
100-235 North Centre Rd
London On N5X 4E7
(519) 660-3605 Ext 242
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