Secretive and reclusive for much of the 20th century, China is cutting an even bigger figure on the world on the world stage, as you might expect from a nation that is home to one in seven human beings on the planet. The guiding light of modern China is not Chairman Mao but the yuan – consuerism is the new religion and vast swathes of the country are being concreted over to provide space for new shopping centres and apartment buildings. Nevertheless, China’s captivating culture and history still manage to shine through. For every new skyscraper there is a thousand-year-old pagoda, and for every fast-food franchise, there is a teahouse serving hand-pullednoodles and steamed buns.
Best time to visit in China
March to May and September to November
Places to visit in China
Top things to do in China
Chopsticks, calligraphy, the Cultural Revolution, t’ai chi, green tea, acupuncture, state censors, the olympic Games, unchecked development, the ghosts of Tiananmen and Tibet
One word for China Tourism
Chi fanle ma? (Have you eaten yet?)