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Fisherman with cormorants on the Li River

China travel guides

With its vast area, diverse cultures and endless list of historical and cultural sites to explore, planning a vacation to China can be a little overwhelming.

Our travel guides can help first time visitors and seasoned travelers plan their ideal trip, whether wanting to visit to the Great Wall of China, get up close to pandas or marvel at the 2,500 year old Terracotta Army. With all this history, culture and wildlife, China makes an excellent destination for families, while a peaceful river cruise on the Yangtze provides relaxation away from the crowds.

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Ideas for how to explore China

Our travel guides share our specialists’ passion and knowledge for China. We travel here regularly to discover new experiences, explore untried areas and dig deeper into the better-known places and attractions. At the same time, we gather advice and up-to-date information on the best-quality guides, new hotels and restaurants, and the most memorable forms of transportation.

  • What to do in China: our highlights guide
    Yangshuo, China

    What to do in China: our highlights guide

    What to do in China: our highlights guide

    Visit China's Forbidden City and Terracotta Warriors, walk the Great Wall, hike along the Dragon’s Backbone, and meet the native minorities in the Yunnan and Guizhou provinces. China specialist, Alice picks her favorite things to see and do when visiting this vast country.

    7 min read

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  • The Great Wall of China: taking a quieter path
    The Great Wall, Beijing

    The Great Wall of China: taking a quieter path

    The Great Wall of China: taking a quieter path

    Unmistakable in its appearance and scale, the Great Wall of China wends across the hills, mountains and valleys of northern China. For most visitors, blanking out time to visit this man-made wonder is a must — China specialist Susan outlines the best ways to do this.

    9 min read

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  • Yangtze River cruises in China: a need-to-know guide
    Yangtze River, Yangtze River

    Yangtze River cruises in China: a need-to-know guide

    Yangtze River cruises in China: a need-to-know guide

    China can be overwhelming, so Audley specialist Heather suggests exploring it from a calmer perspective on a cruise of its greatest river, the Yangtze. She reveals the key sights, and what life’s like on board your Yangtze cruise ship.

    9 min read

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  • China in my pocket: how high-speed trains make the Middle Kingdom more manageable
    High speed train, Pingyao

    China in my pocket: how high-speed trains make the Middle Kingdom more manageable

    China in my pocket: how high-speed trains make the Middle Kingdom more manageable

    China’s scale can feel overwhelming, but its high-speed rail network helps cut the country down to size. Our specialists explain how to use high-speed trains to explore China’s highlights and how to use your time wisely in each destination.

    7 min read

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  • The slow side of China: visiting the rural provinces
    Li river, Guilin

    The slow side of China: visiting the rural provinces

    The slow side of China: visiting the rural provinces

    There are still places to visit in China that remain almost untouched by the modern world. Country specialist Cheryl shares her experiences of rural China, from meeting local people and learning about their minority cultures to hiking through mountains and rice terraces.

    10 min read

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  • Our guide to exploring the Terracotta Army of Xian
    Terracotta Warriors, Xian

    Our guide to exploring the Terracotta Army of Xian

    Our guide to exploring the Terracotta Army of Xian

    Make the most out of visiting China’s Terracotta Army: we explain what to look for when exploring this archeological site that predates Christianity.

    6 min read

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  • How to see pandas in China: everything you need to know
    Panda trio

    How to see pandas in China: everything you need to know

    How to see pandas in China: everything you need to know

    China specialist Rick explains why Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is our choice for seeing China’s ambassador animal in a responsible way, and how to make the most of your visit to Sichuan province.

    3 min read

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  • China’s modern cities: Shanghai and Hong Kong
    Pudong, Shanghai

    China’s modern cities: Shanghai and Hong Kong

    China’s modern cities: Shanghai and Hong Kong

    Mixing Chinese and European cultures, Shanghai and Hong Kong bridge the gap between East and West and often mark the start or finale to a China vacation. Specialists Susan and Kara outline the best ways to take in their shimmering skylines and quieter corners.

    13 min read

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  • Kung fu, cooking and pandas: family travel in China
    Three Pagodas , Dali

    Kung fu, cooking and pandas: family travel in China

    Kung fu, cooking and pandas: family travel in China

    Think China won’t suit your family? Think again, says Audley China specialist Anthony. China is well set-up for family travel, but what really makes it as a family destination is the variety of child-friendly things to do.

    7 min read

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  • Everything you always wanted to know about China (but were afraid to ask)
    The Summer Palace, Beijing

    Everything you always wanted to know about China (but were afraid to ask)

    Everything you always wanted to know about China (but were afraid to ask)

    What’s the food really like? And, what about the toilets? When it comes to China, there are no foolish questions. Our China specialist Cheryl provides the answers to your commonly asked questions.

    7 min read

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  • A luxury vacation in China: my perfect trip
    Great Wall, Beijing

    A luxury vacation in China: my perfect trip

    A luxury vacation in China: my perfect trip

    China specialist Cheryl has crafted her fantasy luxury trip to China. In her proposed itinerary, she explains how you can find luxury in China by choosing boutique properties, opting for privately guided ‘bespoke’ experiences, and getting away from the crowds.

    8 min read

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  • China’s spiritual side: the best temples, grottoes, mosques and mountains
    Songzanlin Monastery, Zhongdian

    China’s spiritual side: the best temples, grottoes, mosques and mountains

    China’s spiritual side: the best temples, grottoes, mosques and mountains

    You can explore spiritual China in country specialist Anthony’s guide to the Middle Kingdom’s most intriguing holy places. He shares his thoughts on the why and how of visiting Buddhist monasteries, temples and cave art, and even sacred mountains.

    7 min read

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  • A guide to Chinese food (and where to find it)
    Dumplings, China

    A guide to Chinese food (and where to find it)

    A guide to Chinese food (and where to find it)

    There’s more to Chinese food than Western takeaways let on. Each region of China has its own distinct cuisine, from the west’s hot and spicy delicacies to the hearty dishes of the north. China specialists Anthony and Duncan discuss the best ways to experience food in China.

    9 min read

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  • Characterful stays in China
    Songtsam Hotel, Zhongdian

    Characterful stays in China

    Characterful stays in China

    Whether you’re staying in a converted farmhouse surrounded by countryside or a traditional Tibetan building overlooking a monastery, basing yourself in a boutique property during your vacation to China opens your eyes to new cultures and authentic local life. Country specialist Stephanie shares her recommendations.

    9 min read

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  • Ancient civilizations: The Qin Dynasty
    Zhong woman, Longji

    Ancient civilizations: The Qin Dynasty

    Ancient civilizations: The Qin Dynasty

    The Qin Dynasty was a short period in Chinese history but one of the most important. Our knowledgeable specialists can create a tailor-made trip that visits the very best historical sites to help you get the most out of your trip.

    2 min read

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  • The Silk Route, unpacked: highlights of China’s far west
    Yaks at Mount Mutzagata

    The Silk Route, unpacked: highlights of China’s far west

    The Silk Route, unpacked: highlights of China’s far west

    The Silk Route is a mammoth journey, taking you from Beijing all the way to Uzbekistan. In order to help break it down, here we focus on China’s section of the route, and the historic and cultural sights in store.

    8 min read

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  • Planning your journey along the Trans-Siberian Railway
    Standard Cabin - 2 Berths, Tsars Gold - Chinese Train, Ulaan Baatar

    Planning your journey along the Trans-Siberian Railway

    Planning your journey along the Trans-Siberian Railway

    Revered as one of the greatest journeys on the planet, the Trans-Siberian Railway (or, more specifically, the Trans-Mongolian Railway) links the churches and palaces of Russian cities with the vibrant cultures of Asia, passing through Siberia and the Mongolian steppe. Specialist Matt shares his advice for how to make the journey.

    14 min read

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