The landscape of China is vast and diverse with forest steppe and the vast Gobi Desert on the North and North West, and high mountains like the Himalayas, Karakonam, and Pamir on the West. One of the ancient civilisations, China’s emergence as an Asian power in the last few decades has been phenomenal. As a destination, China has a lot to offer to tourists in terms of nature, culture, city life, shopping, attractions, etc. China, known as a land of thousand pleasures, has many historical locations, from the Stone Age to modern sites. There are about 30 listed World Culture and Natural Heritage Sites in China. It is a land of geographic and cultural schism with deserts, sacred peaks, astounding caves and imperial ruins. Ads: Hong Kong – Shenzhen – Macau Holiday Package
The Great Wall of China stands tall among all the historical sites in China and is one of the most visited places. There are more than 10 sections of the Great Wall open to tourists, including passes, blockhouses and beacon towers at Badaling in Beijing, Laolongtou in Hebei and Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu province. While China is the destination for history lovers with its ancient culture and well-maintained sites, the landscape of China is also spectacular. One can discover the spellbinding beauties of nature in every popular destination.
Covering a total area of 9.6 mn sq lUT1S, China is geographically neighboured by many nations. It extends across much of East Asia, bordering Vietnam, Laos, and Burma in South East Asia; India, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan in South Asia; Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in Central Asia; a small section of Russian Altai and Mongolia in Inner Asia; and the Russian Far East and North Korea in North East Asia.
Both China and India are entwined in the roots of history. The cultural and spiritual interactions between the countries go back to the 1st Century AD, and perhaps even earlier. Buddhism arrived in China via Silk Route, some time in the 2nd Century AD, when Chinese traders brought riches of silk and porcelain into India. However, some strains developed in mutual relations which impacted travel relations in the latter half of the 20th century. However, after melting of ice in bilateral relations towards the beginning of the new century and putting in place institutional mechanism for bilateral cooperation in all possible areas, there has been increased travel between the two countries. As a result, both countries have set up National Tourism Offices in each other as well.
China is a popular outbound destination for Indians today. Situated just across the Himalayas, China is one of India’s closest neighbours. The improving trade relations between the countries have provided new impetus to business travel on both directions in the last few years. As per the latest statistics, more than 6 lakh Indians visited China in 2011, ranking 15th among the top visitor source markets for China.
Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Guilin, Guangzhou, Lhasa, Chengdu, and Hangzhou are popular cities for Indian travellers. There are quite a few emerging destinations as well in China. These include Shenzhen, Lijiang, Hainan, Suzhou, and Dalian. China offers regular thematic tours around Classic Silk Route comprising Beijing-Urumqi-Kashgar-Urumqi-Turpan-Dunhuang-Xi’an-Shanghai; Ice & Snow tour consisting of Shenyang, Dalian, Changchun, Harbin, Inner Mangolia, Urumqi; Seaside Holiday tours through Hainan, Beihai, Dalian, Shandong, Shenzhen, Fujian, and Yunnan; Yangtze River Cruise at the famous Three Gorges; and the Buddhist tour comprising Giant Buddha of Leshan, Longmen Caves of Luoyang, The White Horse Temple, Shaolin Temples, Jade Buddha Temple, and Drepung Monastery at Lhasa.
Chengdu has gained popularity as a leisure destination in China in the past few years. Shaped by the winds of 3,000 years, Chengdu is known for its hospitable climate, picture postcard scenery, folk art and places of historical interest. Chengdu is also the gateway to the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in the East; Tibet, the Jiuzhaigou Valley and Huanglong in the West; Xi’an (the city of terracotta warriors and horses) in the North; and Mount Emei and the Buddhist caves of Leshan in the South.
China, because of its giant strides in industrialization, has become a natural MICE destination for the world in the last few years. Big cities like Shanghai, Tianjin, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Kunming, Sanya and Xi’an have elaborate infrastructure to attract global MICE. As recent as September, 2012, these cities have joined hands to form a China MICE cities alliance to share knowledge and resources to promote MICE. Today, China ranks 8th in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings. By successfully organizing world events, including the Beijing Olympics, China has proved beyond doubt its organizational acumen to the world in recent years.