Chinese Lion Dancing, China

China Holidays

Where old and new, and history and innovation, live side by side. There are many ways to see sprawling China with us – whatever you choose, there will undoubtedly be colour, culture and cuisine to enchant you.

While China has emerged as a global superpower, it still retains a rich history and distinctive culture all of which you can experience on a tailor-made holiday. From the man-made wonder of the Great Wall to the natural beauty of Yunnan, China is a land of both rare beauty and stark contrasts.

Fisherman with Cormorant, Yangshuo, China
Fisherman with cormorant, Yangshuo

What to expect on your China holiday

China has over 5,000 years of enthralling history, 48 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, cutting edge cities, a fascinating culture, magical landscapes, minority tribes and delicious cuisine. A world apart from our culture, an expert who knows and loves the country is invaluable when creating a tailor-made holiday to China.

The iconic sites of China are well visited for a reason so shouldn’t be missed on a first-time visit to the country. From the Terracotta Warriors in Xian to the magical karst limestone peaks of Yangshuo and the mighty Yangtze River. Our experts can combine these well-trodden routes with far less visited parts of the country.

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Need Inspiration?
Browse our China holiday ideas.

Our experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something to spark ideas for a unique adventure.

Local Market, Huang Pang Village, Guizhou, China
Local market in Guizhou
Longhorn Miao, Suoga Village, Guizhou, China
Miao longhorn tribe
Tibetan Monk walking in Songzanlin Monastery, Shangri La, Yunnan, China
Tibetan monk, Shangri-La, Yunnan

Beyond the classic sites

Take the time to travel a little further to places such as the Silk Road city of Kashgar, or the exceptionally preserved Ming dynasty walls of Pingyao city, and Datong, home to the Yungang Caves and their carved Buddha’s. China is home to many minority tribes many of which are found in the less visited regions on Guizhou, Qinghai and Yunnan – time spent with these people is a rare glimpse into a fast disappearing China.

Explore China

  • Chengdu
  • Xian
  • Beijing
  • Yunnan
  • Hong Kong
  • Guilin
  • Pingyao
  • Shanghai
  • Yangtze River
  • Tibet

Experiences

Here are a selection of activities and experiences you could consider including in your holiday to China.

Terracotta Warriors Xian China

The Terracotta Warriors

See one of China’s most important sights, the Terracotta Warriors on the outskirts of Xian.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Novice Monks at Monastery, Yunnan, China

Discover Shangri La

Journey to Shangri La for a glimpse into Tibetan culture.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Yangtze River, China

Cruise the Yangtze River

Glide along hidden Yangtze River tributaries where rural Chinese life, beautiful scenery and 5,000 years of culture remain.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Kashgar Market, Kashgar, China

Kashgar Sunday Market

Absorb the sights, sounds and smells of the Sunday market at Kashgar.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Hanging Monastery, Datong, China

Visit the Hanging Monastery

Precariously perched on the cliff face, the hanging monastery in Datong is a temple, built some 75 metres above ground.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Yulong River, Guilin, China

Li River Rafting

Cruise the Li River by bamboo raft, as the traditional cormorant fishermen do.

Suggested Holiday Idea

China, Opera, Actress

Peking Opera Experience

See a traditional Peking Opera in Beijing, followed by a traditional meal of Peking Duck.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Forbidden City, Beijing, China

The Forbidden City

Follow in the footsteps of Emperors past amidst the palaces and terraces of Beijing’s Forbidden City.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Giant Panda eating Bamboo, China

See Giant Pandas

Observe Sìchuan’s famous residents at the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Great Wall of China, Jinshanling, Near Beijing, China

The Great Wall

Escape the crowds and trek across a remote section of the Great Wall of China.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

The Opposite House £££££

  • China
  • City

From the outside, The Opposite House is clearly different from many of the other 5* hotels in the city – huge wooden entrance doors contrast with the striking green glass exterior and lead into an informal lobby area. This ultra-modern and contemporary hotel was designed by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and built largely using reclaimed materials.

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Waldorf Astoria Hotel £££££

  • China
  • City

The striking, contemporary exterior of The Waldorf Astoria stands in contrast to the soft and elegant interior where sleek modern art combines with oriental charm. The 176 rooms are spacious and stylish with most located in the main, modern building and a few in a separate wing, in the style of a hutong courtyard. Butler service and access to a private terrace or courtyard garden are all an option. With a wonderfully central location, guests at the Waldorf can easily explore the highlights of the city or relax in the spa or by the heated pool.

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Banyan Tree – Lijiang £££££

  • China

Banyan Tree Lijiang is located a short hop from the cobbled streets of old town Lijiang, with views towards the towering Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Each of the 55 villas is furnished in a local style and are set in their own private garden with either a heated pool or plunge pool. Additional facilities include a spa, gym and tennis court.

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Sofitel Legend Hotel £££££

  • China

Once a government guesthouse, Sofitel Legend Hotel has 71 stylish and elegant guestrooms. The decor blends local styles with French and Art Deco features and most of the rooms overlook the hotels landscaped gardens and fountains. After a day spent exploring the ancient silk road city of Xian return to the hotel for a dip in the pool or a relaxing spa treatment.

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Aman at Summer Palace £££££

  • China
  • City

Adjacent to the East Gate of the Summer Palace grounds, Aman at Summer Palace is housed in a series of dwellings, most of which date back over 100 years. The 51 rooms and suites are elegant yet undeniably Chinese and surround internal courtyards crisscrossed by pathways, separating formal gardens of bamboo and indigenous trees. The decor pays homage to the traditional Chinese architecture of the Summer Palace.

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The Upper House £££££

  • China
  • City

The Upper House is a modern and contemporary hotel with 117 studios and suites. Light and airy in style, the rooms have been decorated using natural materials such as bamboo, wool and limestone and all offer wonderful views of Hong Kong island, the mountains or the harbour. Extremely eco-friendly; expect paperless check-in, in-room body motion sensors, hybrid cars for hire and organic food produce.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Paul is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.

Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

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Frequently asked questions about China

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Is the street food safe to eat?

The language seems hard to grasp, is English spoken over there?

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