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What to see and do in China
The world's oldest continuous civilisation: China. For centuries the most advanced empire –bequeathing to the world the dictionary, printing, gunpowder and the compass –China is one of the largest countries in the world and is home to one fifth of its population. China offers a lifetime of experiences, from ancient sites –including no less than 41 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – to buzzing cities and peaceful rural areas virtually unchanged for centuries;the difficult thing is choosing what to see. China has an incredible diversity of people, places, culture and food. We love the rich seam of history that runs through the country –sometimes literally, in the case of the Great Wall – seen in the temple-capped mountains, wreathed in mist and mystery. Modern China is epitomised in the glittering cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, offering their own blend of technicolour beauty in the many neon lights that adorn the high rises. China's great outdoors is in direct contrast to this: in Lijiang and Yangshuo, the light is pure, the skies unfettered by light pollution and the flora lush and green. Whether exploring the fascinating cities of the eastern seaboard, journeying along the historic Silk Road, enjoying peace and quiet amid the virginal landscape of Yunnan or experiencing the authentic way of life in Tibet, in China you can always be sure of an experience to remember.
China holidays with A&K
From home cooking classes with a family in Yunnan, to table-tennis with primary school stars, to chopstick lessons with our brilliant guide, as he recounted an epic 5,500-mile walk along the Great Wall, the letters we receive tell us it's the small intimate experiences that help make Abercrombie & Kent China holidays so memorable.
We're glad to hear it. We aim to make this vast dynamic country more manageable, helping you make sense of a destination where the ancient and traditional are juxtaposed with the startlingly modern. As one of the first international travel companies in China, A&K has a well-established offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Xian and Hong Kong, co-ordinating a network of highly qualified, fluent English-speaking guides. Unsurprisingly letters from our clients praise our China tour director, Gerald Hatherly, consistently named as one of the world's top travel professionals.
As part of the team offering A&K tours to China in 2016, 2017, he will help introduce you to the rapidly expanding metropolises of Shanghai and Beijing, the country's cultural and political heart. You'll have opportunities off the normal tourist radar, including entry to usually closed sections of the Forbidden Palace and meeting artists from the country's burgeoning contemporary movement.
We'll show you Guangxi's mesmerising rice terraces, the Yangzi's River's dramatic gorges - from our luxury river cruiser, MS Yangzi Explorer - and Guilin's karsts and cormorant fishermen. We'll amaze you with contrasts, from the Taklamakan Desert's solitude, to Hong Kong's exuberant retail frenzy and Yunnan's serene hot springs, forests and mountain rivers.
It's vast, diverse and thrilling, but also challenging. Whether you're travelling with family or solo, with A&K China holidays you're in safe hands, not to mention the best vehicle fleet around. Just ask our clients. When one recently missed a domestic flight from Beijing to Datong, we instantly arranged a beautiful six-hour overland drive. And then there's the family whose daughter fell ill on the Yangzi Explorer. After sourcing the best medical care, our guide delivered a DVD and photo album of the family's first night to the Shanghai Peninsular - a parting gift to compensate for leaving the cruise early.
Best time to be there
While there are differences in the climate according to the region in China, it is best to travel in Spring and Autumn when the weather is not too hot nor freezing cold. But we also pay attention to festival periods and special occasions.
Beijing/Shanghai/Hong Kong (British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Virgin)
11 hours 20 minutes non-stop
GMT +7 hours
Visa required for UK passport holders
Yellow Fever certificate if arriving from an endemic area
Our experts can tailor-make the perfect holiday to suit your individual requirements, however, if you need inspiration or a starting point, below are some of our suggested trips and experiences:
Below are some of our suggested places to stay:
- Beijing Luxury Holidays & Tours
- Xian Travel & Tours
- Yangze River
- Shanghai Holidays & Tours
- Northern Yunnan Travel & Tours
- Silk Road Holidays & Travel
- Hong Kong Holidays 2016, 2017
- Guilin Travel & Tours
- Sanya Holidays
- Hangzhou Holidays & Travel
- Kunming holidays & tours
- Dali Holidays & Tours
- Lijiang Holidays & Tours
- Pingyao Holidays & Tours
- Xishuangbanna Holidays & Tours
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Annie, Brandon, Debbie, Margaret, Vicky Hamlin, Vicky Smith and Rachel - are experts in designing travel experiences across the region to suit your personal needs, interests and budget. Their intimate knowledge of every hotel and resort featured in our Orient, India, Australasia and Indian Ocean portfolio, together with our own network of offices throughout these areas, allows us to offer unique in-depth knowledge, unparalleled insider access and the VIP service for which Abercrombie & Kent is renowned.
Read about our lastest experiences in our Travel Blog pages.
To find out more about our Orient team, click on the consultant links below or call them on 01242 547 704 or enquire online
Get in touch
Our recent awards
I understand Condé Nast named Gerald Hatherly one of the “Greatest Travel Pros on Earth,” and we can verify that. He is an extraordinary leader who attends to every detail and then gives credit to all his associates.