Tempted by the Far East? Discover China.

Tempted by the Far East? Discover China.

16/05/2016 Off By tripsology
China Flag and Skyline

Here at talkholiday we have been following the trends and habits of our members and it would seem that many of us are looking for something different.  Sure, we are all seduced by the promise of a fortnight’s sun, sea and sand on the Mediterranean’s coasts and islands but is that enough to satisfy our growing thirst for long haul travel and our hunger for experiences beyond the poolside bar?

Great Wall of China


The Far East has long been a temptation and is set to become a popular hotspot in the coming seasons. For discerning and adventurous holidaymakers, this enigmatic land offers a real taste of the Orient and a peek into the country’s identity and culture. Prepare for an assault on the senses and an experience you’ll be talking about for years to come.

Tourist in a Rickshaw - Zhangjiakou - China

Tourist in a Rickshaw – Zhangjiakou – China

Such is the diversity of China and its 5000 years of fascinating history and folklore; this vast country is becoming a top destination for inquisitive travellers.  Steeped in charm and mystique, The People’s Republic of China offers a myriad of delights on a long haul holiday. A destination incomparable to anywhere else on the planet, China’s key attractions are luring tourists from all over the globe and they’re sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who goes there. These landmarks will give visitors a greater understanding of the country’s history and traditions but simply spending time among its people in the city streets probably captures the essence and spirit of China at its best.  China is huge and even the most experienced travellers could never pack everything it has to offer into a two week holiday. Don’t even try to. Why not plan a slower placed trip, taking in the highlights but do factor in some free time to explore the cities and landscapes. A simple stroll through one of the parks to breathe in the fragrance of plumb blossom or observe locals practising Tai Chi is a great way of soaking up the atmosphere of this unique and vibrant country. China as a holiday destination is becoming more popular. Ancient treasures and rhythms happily co-exist with modern day commodities and is fast becoming a 21st century superpower.

The Forbidden City - Beijing - China

The Forbidden City – Beijing – China

There is so much to see and do that you are unlikely to tick every box during a two or even three week vacation but there are a few suggestions to give you a good overview of the country and enough stories and photographs to entertain your friends with once you get home.

Top Excursions/Must See:

  • Forbidden City, Beijing
  • The Great Wall of China
  • Tiananmen Square, Beijing
  • The Summer Palace, Beijing
  • The Ming Tombs, near Beijing
  • International world-class nightlife of Shanghai
  • Potala Palace, Lhasa
  • Water Gardens and Grand Canal of Suzhou
  • Beaches and water sports at Hainan Island
  • Shopping for tea and silks in Hangzhou
  • Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong
  • Ocean Park amusement park and animal habitat, Hong Kong

Check out our infographic on the top ten tourist attractions:

Join China Club now and discover more...

Join China Club now and discover more..

Cormorant Fisherman on the Li River Yangshuo - China

Cormorant Fisherman on the Li River Yangshuo – China

Whilst the Chinese are one of the most polite and hospitable races in the world, there are still some cultural taboos and visitors should be mindful to respect the local laws and customs. For example, gambling is still illegal on the mainland and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are blocked.  Here are a few handy hints and tips. Couple these with good behaviour and common sense and you won’t go wrong.

Etiquette Dos and Don’ts:

  • The Chinese are renowned for their reserved politeness and good manners. Do try to respect all local customs and traditions.
  • Do try to learn a few words and phrases in Mandarin. The locals will appreciate even the smallest of efforts.
  • Dress conservatively. Shorts are rarely worn except in beach resorts. Women should avoid very short skirts and should cover shoulders, particularly when visiting sacred temples.
  • Do ask permission before taking anyone’s photograph.
  • Photography is prohibited in airports, museums and all military areas.
  • Reading matter unfavourable to China is likely to be confiscated.
  • No littering or spitting
  • China has a zero drug tolerance policy and convictions can lead to a huge fine and/or imprisonment.

We’ve also compiled a ready reckoner on entry requirements and general travel information.  UK travellers will need a visa for mainland China but currently don’t require one for Hong Kong. You will need the visa prior to arrival and visitors should contact their nearest Chinese Embassy in good time ahead of their trip. Do not overstay your visa or attempt to work illegally. If visiting Hong Kong from mainland China and wish to return to the mainland you will need a visa to allow a second entry into China. Passports must be valid for at least six months after the date of the visa application. Visitors must register their place of residence with a local Public Security Bureau within 24 hours of arrival. If you are staying in a hotel, this will be done on your behalf as part of the check in process. For full details visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Visitors should contact their GP around 8 weeks prior to their trip to check on up to date vaccinations/preventative measure. Full up to date advice is also available from National Travel Health Network and Centre.

Now that you have all the essential information all you have to do is find the perfect trip for you and your family and enjoy the great wonders of this ancient civilisation. It really will be a once in a lifetime experience.

For more information on individual cities, resorts and attractions, feel free to drop into our travel guide partners, Lonely Planet.