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08
ASIA: CHINA
When weighing up your travel options for 2008, look east.
For the Olympic Games in Beijing will reveal China to be one
of the world’s most intriguing, diverse and extraordinary
destinations. Simon Lewis explains why you should make yours a...
C
hina is a waking dragon, the Culturally it’s incredibly diverse; as well
world’s brash new superpower, as the familiar ‘Han’ Chinese, there are
and the Beijing Olympics of matriarchal tribes, Turkic-speaking
2008 is intended to be the Muslims, lamaist Tibetans – it is hard to
country’s international coming credit that Shanghai sophisticates are the
out party. But to visit only the capital countrymen of animist tribespeople.
NEW YEAR
is to taste a small slice of the China The best China trips offer a little
experience; it’s a vast territory, crammed taste of everything: the chance to see The political heart of the country, world’s most powerful tomb guardians:
with history, culture and landscapes, the awesome new skylines that the and the obvious place to start your trip, the terracotta army.
and its well worth taking the plunge and prosperous economy has thrown up, is Beijing, where you’ll fi nd the best Continuing west takes you away
travelling round. to experience the grandeur of China’s remnants of the Imperial age. But after from the bustling cities of the east
As well as the world’s fastest fallen dynasties and to see at fi rst hand a week here you might feel ready for coast and into a territory famous for
growing cities, China boasts baking the grand, sweeping landscapes and the something more challenging, so head lush landscapes and minority peoples.
deserts, steaming jungles and awesome vast peoplescapes of the world’s most south and take in the string of ancient Sichuan province is noted for its
mountain ranges; and as home of the populous country… with perhaps a river capitals along the Yellow River – such pandas and fi ery cuisine, and it’s the
world’s oldest continuous civilisation cruise and a yomp up a holy mountain as Luoyang and Kaifeng, and, most start for one of China’s classic trips, the
it’s full of amazing historical remnants. thrown in for good measure. magnifi cent of all, Xi’an, home of the cruise down the Yangtze River. Mellow
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