China is a place of ancient history, rich culture, delicate cuisine, thriving industry and modern architecture. We joined a tour so that we could get a taste of what travel in China could offer. And we were very glad we had.
Ancient History in China
Xi’an is home to the impressive terracotta warriors. In this large complex, there are three pits which contain over 8,000 soldier figures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. The terracotta warriors were buried with the emperor in 210-209 BCE to protect him in his afterlife.
The warriors were only discovered in 1974, when local farmers were digging in their fields. Since then archaeologists have uncovered many of the warriors and over 40,000 bronze weapons.
Xi’an has a city wall, the only intact city wall remaining in China. It has a total length of 14 kilometers and is surrounded by a deep moat. From the top we had a great view over the old city inside and the new city growing upwards outside.
Beijing – more ancient heritage
Beijing comfortably combines ancient heritage and modern architecture found in the business center. There is a wall near Beijing – the Great Wall. If you are keen and in need of some exercise you can climb the steps to the top of the section at Juyongguan Pass. This was hard work, but a most worthwhile experience even though the view was compromised by the thick haze.
Also near Beijing is the vast Forbidden City complex. Construction began in the time of the Ming Dynasty in 1407 and was completed in 1420. The complex covers an area of 72 hectares and tourists must enter through one gate, walk through the entire complex and leave by the other gate, a distance of nearly 1 kilometre. There is much to see and be impressed by along the way.
In other towns visited, there were serene gardens and tranquil lakes, as well as pearl displays, silk factories and tea plantations.
There was also the financial center of China, Shanghai. And here was an opportunity to take a night-time boat cruise on the river to marvel at the city building lights reflected in the water.
Three Gorges Dam and River Cruise
The final highlight of our China tour was the Yangtze River cruise past the enormous dam and complicated loch system and through the stunning Three Gorges.
All these highlights, from the back streets of Beijing to the dumpling restaurant in Xi’an are included in our new video A Taste of China. Order your copy here now.
The video was colourful and had terrific commentary. Well done both of you. I just had to let you know how good the video was.
Ray Kopke, Watsonia, Vic.