Beijing - The capital and cultural centre of China
China's most important and longest-standing capital, Beijing is probably the city most foreigners associate with China. This mega-metropolis, however, is more than the smog with which the international media often associates it, and then 24 million people to which it can be quantified.
With millennia of history, Beijing is a cultural tourist's dream. Whether you spend your day exploring the ancient Forbidden City, pondering its juxtaposition with the Mao-era Tian'anmen Square, walk amid the towering skyscrapers of the Guomao District or make a day trip to the Great Wall, Beijing has something for everyone.
Xi'an - Home of the Terracotta Warriors
Offering a window into China’s ancient civilization, Xi’an boasts a number of precious relics and historical sites. You will no doubt want to see the famous Terracotta Army Museum, as this archaeological site features a collection of life-size terracotta sculptures that depict the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Take a bike ride on top of the city wall to see fortifications that date back 600 years, then explore the vibrant Muslim Quarter to soak up the culture and sample local delicacies.
Shanghai - China's Prosperous Largest City
Shanghai is a city that sprawls and seethes with the energy of more than 24 million people and is one of the world’s largest cities. It gradually increased in importance as a city throughout the dynastic ages of the Song and Ming, but it was under the Qing that it boomed to become the most important trading port on the Yangtze River Delta.
In the present day, Shanghai is much the same and the shimmering skyscrapers on the Bund are testament to the city’s trading power. You will still find traces of the old however in the numerous historic buildings and the leafy canals of the French Concession.
Guangzhou - A prosperous and liberal city near Hong Kong
Among the list of large Chinese cities here, Changzhou is probably the one you are least likely to have heard of. Although it is home to more than 12 million people, Changzhou has not achieved notoriety among tourists like Xi'an, or among businesspeople like Chengdu. It is also extremely close to Shanghai, which steals the spotlight, to say the least.
Lijiang - famous for UNESCO Heritage Site, Old Town of Lijiang
If you are looking for a romantic love story, go to Lijiang! If you are tired of the working days, go to Lijiang! If you are planning to know more about Naxi ethnic culture, go to Lijiang! Located at the northwest part of Yunnan Province, Lijiang Old Town is one of the well-preserved ancient towns in China and has enrolled on World Cultural Heritage List in 1997.
Hangzhou - Shanghai’s Picturesque Backyard with Rich Culture
When Marco Polo came to Hangzhou in the 13th century, he declared it "the most beautiful and elegant city in the world". There is a popular Chinese saying, "Above there is heaven, below there are Hangzhou and Suzhou."
Hangzhou's "heavenly" beauty and Buddhist, imperial, and tea culture attract millions of travelers yearly. There are convenient 1-hour high-speed trains from Shanghai.