Expected to become the tourist destination with the world’s largest number of visitors in less than 10 years, China is an incredibly diverse land, where each trip becomes an adventure into the unknown even for the most experienced travel aficionados. Containing the world’s highest mountains, large deserts, endless grasslands and some of the world’s largest cities, this land of mystery and contrasts never ceases to amaze, becoming addictive in an (un)explainable way. Hard to choose what to visit for a China first-timer, still, discovering Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’An opened my appetite for more.
The capital’s Imperial palaces and gardens are blending with modern architecture in a charming, unbeatable way, showcasing a superb proof of how tradition and contemporary can stand together side by side, no harm done. Just outside Beijing, the Great Wall, China’s biggest attraction, rules majestically, adding to the mysterious vibe of this land of wonders.
Home to the world’s second tallest tower and other jaw-dropping skyscrapers, Shanghai is a city worth exploring, whose cultural diversity would amaze even the most trained travelers. Beyond the neck-cracking towers you’ll find narrow streets and traditional houses, majestic colonial buildings and top places for the art lovers. The city’s crowded streets, the high-end boutiques and the top chef dining spots add to the charm, making it a destination to remember.
More than 3000 years old, Xi’An is another destination to remember in China. Capital for 13 dynasties, the city is a living reminder of China’s former glory. The many museums cultural relics and historical sites make a great attraction for the history aficionados. Still, the main focus stands on the famed Teracotta Warriors and Horses, the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th Century. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor of China. In fact, it is often said that “If you haven’t been to Xi’An you haven’t been to China”.
To add to my sayings, I gathered together some pictures I made in the three aforementioned cities, hoping you’ll find China as mesmerizing as I did.