Ancient. Vibrant. Complex.


After decades of self-imposed isolation and agonizing self-destruction in the 20th century, China is mobilizing and building at a frenetic pace in the 21st, reclaiming its historic role as Asia's greatest cultural, political and economic power. Known for centuries in Asia as the "Middle Kingdom," China's influences on most, if not all, cultures of the Far East are comparable to Greek and Roman, and later French and British influences, on Western culture.

China is a force to be reckoned with and one of the world's most compelling cultures. Travel to China now to experience this great nation poised in the midst of its profound metamorphosis.


China is a land of incredible beauty, rich customs and welcoming people. Whether you are looking for an active, fast-paced excursion or a leisurely, reflective escape, China provides ample opportunity for both. From river cruising to mountaintop temple visits, the things to do in China are unique, varied and plentiful.


In 2006 the Chinese completed the Qinhai Tibet Railway, linking Beijing, Chengdu, Xi'an and Xining with Lhasa. This engineering marvel travels across the high Tibetan Plateau, through densely forested mountains above Xining. There are two different trains plying the tracks, a modest local model and the luxurious Tangula, which can be compared to the Eastern & Orient Express. Tangula's custom-built trains feature relaxed elegance, state-of-the-art technology, personal entertainment systems and onboard oxygen facilities allowing you to travel in comfort at altitudes of over 16,000 feet. Private soft sleeper cabins feature 24-hour attendant service. Each berth sleeps four passengers (two upper and two lower twin berths). Travel from Xining to Lhasa (or visa versa) takes 24 hours and is the most scenic part of the journey. One of the many extraordinary things to do in China and a fantastic way to see the country's varied landscapes, the entire Beijing to Lhasa route is a five-day/four-night journey, while the Lhasa to Beijing direction is a four-day/three-night journey.


Considered holy sites by Taoists and Buddhists and used for imperial ancestral sacrifices, these four holy mountains of Tai Shan, Huang Shan, Qingcheng Shan and Emei Shan combine stunning natural scenery with religious and political history. Follow in imperial footsteps at Tai Shan in Shandong, climb through the "cloud seas" of Huang Shan in Anhui, linger at the many Buddhist temples perched on Emei Shan in Sichuan or explore China's first Taoist temples atop Qingcheng Shan in Sichuan.


In Yangshuo take a bamboo raft trip on a beautiful tributary of the Li River. A cruise on the Yangzi is of course a classic of the genre and one of the more popular China activities amongst visitors.


The Chinese are justifiably famous the world over for their festival pageantry. Ask us to budget in time to attend a celebration. Yunnan's Water-Splashing Festival in April or the Dragon Boat Festival in June are among our favorite festivals in China.


Four to six days, moderately strenuous. Altitudes reach over 13,000 feet. Start at Paro Dzong, finish in Motithang (near Thimphu). This wonderfully scenic, high-altitude walk accesses remote alpine lakes and yak herders, and boasts views of the Chinese Himalayas. Because this trip departs from Paro, it's a great choice as an add-on to the end of your Chinа trip.


Vibrant and colorful, Chinese festivals are illustrative of this vast country's many cultures, religious traditions, seasonal celebrations and secular customs. At the Gyalthang Horse Festival, ethnic Tibetans from the most remote areas of Yunnan gather for a special annual event to participate in horse races and a show of traditional acrobatics on horseback. This spectacle recalls a way of life that has existed for centuries in this area and on the Tibetan plateau. Expert horsemen from the Kingdom of Kham in Eastern Tibet compete for prizes and glory, while locals in heavy turquoise and colorful hand-woven brocade create a scene of timeless splendor.

With hundreds of festivals in China, throughout the country, call our Travel Specialists for specifics on including a festival in your China travels.


Like an architect creating your one-of-a-kind home, our Asia Travel Experts craft your personalized journey from the ground up. Your preference of destinations, pace, budget, dates, activities and lodging are skillfully arranged, down to the finest detail. Begin planning your custom luxury travel to Asia or the Pacific today!


  • Ride a rickshaw through old Beijing’s hutongs (alleyways)
  • Join a sampan ride in an ancient watertown
  • Float on a bamboo raft along the Ping River
  • Ride a camel through the desert along the ancient route of the Silk Road
  • Visit the haunting Terracotta Warriors
  • See giant pandas and red pandas at the Chengdu Research Base

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