Immense China offers a variety of landscapes and architectural masterpieces so vast it will thrill first-time explorers and return visitors alike. In fact, the country is so large that it has thirty UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the traces of a history going back thousands of years and a dizzying interweaving of cultural traditions.
Each region and province offers unique scenarios and has different stories to tell: from Beijing’s famous imperial palaces to the Taklamakan Desert in the west, inhabited by the Uygur population and once crossed by merchants travelling the so-called “Silk Road”; from the tribal communities of Yunnan to the paintings in the Mogao Caves; from the banks of the Yangzi to the Guangxi rice terraces.
In this constellation of territories, an immensely varied nature manifests itself in the most spectacular ways: the aquatic enchantment of the historic town of Wuzhen; the dreamlike atmospheres of mountains like the Huangshan, the Wuyi, and the Tai; the peaks and streams of Wulingyuan, forming a magical tapestry; the sanctuary of the giant panda in Sichuan; and, last but not least, the splendour of Shangri-La County, whose very name evokes legend.
The fascinating Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and the astonishing architectural venture of the Great Wall are naturally a must for those who love cultural itineraries. But China’s huge metropolises – above all, Beijing, Shanghai, and Taipei – also boast state-of-the art museum networks among their myriad attractions and an artistic fervour unique around the world. And all of this is juxtaposed with a modern, contradictory vitality that is unquestionably worthy of a new global superpower.