China

When we first floated the idea of going to China beyond just the bigger cities of Beijing or Shanghai, we were confronted with many cautionary tales: China is dirty and unhygienic. The people in China are unfriendly. It’s incredibly difficult to get around without Mandarin or Cantonese.

Our time in China proved all of these wrong. It’s one of the cleanest countries we have ever visited and even its street food markets boast pretty hygienic standards. The people are incredibly friendly, always helping you when you need it, taking photos with you and smiling widely at the foreigners on their trains, subways and streets. And, speaking of trains and subways, it’s astonishingly easy to get around China! The infrastructure is out of this world with bullet trains, reliable buses and a squeaky clean, convenient subway to rival any in the world.

Not to mention that, beyond the functional bits, China is a fascinating place to travel. We ticked off the key sights of the Forbidden City in Beijing, or the Terracotta Army in Xi’An, or hanging out with some giant bamboo-guzzling pandas in Chengu; all of which took our breath away. But it was our time in the smaller cities and the natural and traditional beauty of the country that really blew our minds. A day hiking the Great Wall from Gubeikou to Jinshanling, walking a trail of 17km out of the over 21,000 incredible km that it stretches. Walking the old city walls of Xi’An, a 13km loop where you can take in the sights but feel transported back to an older, simpler time. Revelling in the ancient town of ‘Phoenix’ or Fenghuang, which has been maintained to it’s medieval standards. And three days in Zhangjiajie National Geopark, where we saw the limestone karsts that inspired James Cameron’s blockbuster film, Avatar, a natural ‘hole’ in the Tianmen mountain, only reachable by a precarious mountain road with 99 hairpin bends and 999 steep stone steps, and faced our fear of heights on death-defying glass walkways.

If you haven’t been to China… go. And venture beyond the big cities like Beijing to find the hidden gems of the world’s most populous country.

Zhangjiajie Itinerary – a complete guide

Zhangjiajie Itinerary – a complete guide

One of the most mystical places we have ever been to, and our second favourite place in China after The Great Wall near Beijing, …
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Landmarks in China – Our Top 10 China Landmarks

Landmarks in China – Our Top 10 China Landmarks

China without doubt has some of the most remarkable landmarks, iconic buildings and idyllic landscapes in the world. The country is just littered with …
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Apps for China – must-have apps before you go

Apps for China – must-have apps before you go

So, we’re guessing that you’ve arrived on this post as you’re planning a trip to China in the …
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A Xian itinerary – the perfect guide to this fascinating city

A Xian itinerary – the perfect guide to this fascinating city

We had no idea that Xi’an is so old! In fact it’s over 3,000 years old and as the former capital …
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A Beijing Itinerary – 4 days in China’s bustling capital

A Beijing Itinerary – 4 days in China’s bustling capital

Beijing is massive. Third largest city in the world kind of massive. So how do you fit all that you need to see in …
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