No other country in the world I have visited compares to China. The Culture is so distinct. My curiosity attracted me to experience their amazing culture & explore the country. While I dislike the pollution of the big cities, the countryside & the food are incredible! It’s a fascinating country – but it was quite the culture shock! I would definitely recommend taking it is a tour for a stress-free trip! Whilst I planned the whole trip independently, the language barrier was the first big hurdle to overcome as a foreigner travelling to china – taking a tour you would have your very own local guide!

I visited Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu & Shanghai. I had so many highlights during my trip but I was blown away with trekking & camping on Great wall of China, waking up in the morning was one of the best mornings I have ever experienced!

We started our trip with 4 nights in Bejing! Whilst in Beijing I visited Tiananmen Square & the Forbidden City. We took a rickshaw tour through the Hutongs – the traditional alleys of Beijing. Experienced the food market with scorpions on sticks, although I didn’t eat any! We spent a night on the Great Wall of China, we trekked up 7km to the wall, put up tents in the watch tower, watched the sunset, lit a camp fire & heard nothing but wildlife, in the morning we woke early to watch the sunrise before trekking back down – it was incredible!

Then we took on overnight train from Bejing to Xian, in the deluxe soft sleeper where the 4 of us shared! – it was interesting but we took wine & a pack of cards, & was settled in for the evening.

The main reason we visited Xi’an was for the obvious, the Teracotta Army, to see 8000 life size statures of soldiers is amazing!

The food was my favourite in Xi’an & so cheap! The noodles & hotpots you can try are so tasty – For a sensory overload check out the Muslim quarter for street food.

After 3 nights in Xi’an we took the High Speed Train to Chengdu, to see the Panda’s! Chengdu is the base of giant panda breeding & possibly the only time I have seen a panda in their natural habitat, this is a research centre so unlike a zoo they don’t concentrate on displaying the animals. We spent 2 nights in Chengdu & then headed to Shanghai for 3 nights.

We went to a quaint little water village – known as the Venice of the East – about 30 minutes out from Shanghai city by train. It was like a different world compared to the city, like we went back in time. In the city we also went to the Bund & to one of the best rooftop bars I’ve ever been to Vue Bar at the Hyatt.

If you are looking for an experience of a lifetime – China is packed with sights & experiences – it should be a must be on your holiday list!

Top tips

  • Keep a business card from your hotel to show taxi drivers or incase you get lost while exploring.
  • Chinese government censors all media to the internet so you can’t access social media, Facebook/Whatsapp, look at buying a VPN for your phone before leaving so you will still be able to contact your loved ones.
  • Outside the main cities like Beijing & Shanghai, the locals are not used to seeing Westerners, you might find that people stare at you & maybe even take pictures of you, with or without asking! Smile!