Great Places to Visit in China

Terracotta Warrior Xiam ChinaA vacation in Asia will not be complete without visiting the country that cradles one of the oldest civilizations in the world – China. The country is rich in diverse culture, and being a country with massive land mass, travel opportunities are just infinite and inexpensive. So whether you want to have energetic, social activities at all times while in a city or just to relax and unwind in the countryside, China has the ideal vacation spot for you.

Of course, when visiting China, you should not miss the country’s capital city – Beijing. The city alone offers a rich showcase of culture to any tourist, as this is where locals and foreigners generally converge. From Beijing, you can avail of tours that bring you to the famous Great Wall, a mighty, ancient and long fortification structure built during the Ming Dynasty.

Xi’an is another interesting city to visit in China. The city has been a capital of the country for several dynasties in the past. This is where you can find the very popular Terra-cotta Warriors, a large-scale group of figures that dates back to 210 BC and resembles warriors, horses, chariots, officials and even acrobats. The figures were buried in the tomb of Emperor Qin, the country’s first emperor.

If you want a livelier and more energetic environment for your vacation break, consider staying in Shanghai where commerce and trade opportunities are abundant, which means greater opportunities for shopping, food trips and other exciting holiday endeavors. Aside from these metropolitan activities, Shanghai also offers many activities for those who are into cultural enlightenment, just like the rest of the places in China. Various museums and monuments abound in the city to explore. After a busy day of both great shopping and cultural education, you can visit Shanghai Yuyuan Garden to relax and unwind. It is one of the famous classical garden finished in 1577, and a great place to have a tranquil time.

For a more upbeat and modern atmosphere, Hong Kong is definitely your place to be! Here, have easy access to restaurants, nightlife activities, as well as many contemporary wonders to behold. Want to be mesmerized with the stunning appearance of Hong Kong? Be at the Victoria Peak, which is not just an observation platform but also a shopping area as well!

On another note, when you ware one who loves the mountains, the countryside or nature in general, consider venturing into Lhasa Tibet, which makes you feel to be on top of the world when there. Be enthralled with the wonderful sight of the lovely valley and snow-capped mountains. Moreover, monasteries and temples abound in and around the area, making it an ideal haven for those who are looking for a place to meditate.  Among these religious places to visit are Ganden Monastery, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery and Jokhang Temple, which is considered as the holiest among all Tibetan temples.

Whether you are seeking a solemn environment to relax your mind or a vibrant city to feed your thirst for excitement, there certainly is a place in China that your heart will find dear.

France Remains the Most Visited Country in the World in 2010

France remained in 2010 the most visited country in the world, followed by the United States, while the third place is disputed between Spain and China, UN World Tourism Organization said.

“France will remain number one”, the secretary general of the UNWTO Taleb Rifal was quoted by local media to have said during a news conference.

China is currently situated on the fourth place, but by the end of this year the country might take Spain’s place from top three. “China decided a few years ago that tourism should be a pillar of its economy and it worked. The centre of gravity is moving towards China, and Asia in general”, Rifal also said, adding that, by 2020 China will be the world’s most visited country as well as the top source of foreign tourists.

In 2009, France had 74.2 million visitors, while United States received 54.9 million tourists and Spain 52.2 million, according to UNWTO.

The same conclusion was found also in a recent study made by Oxford Economics, that said China will attract by 2020 10.3% of the total number of travelers worldwide. Also, Oxford Economics said that the entire region will have, in ten years from now, a market share of almost 22%, increasing from the current share of 18%.

“In the case of both foreign visitor arrivals and resident trips aboard, the fall in Europe’s share of the global totals by 2020 is effectively counterbalanced by the increase in the Asia Pacific share”, the report said.

Last month, the UN body announced it was working with China on the country’s first national tourism law.

In terms of money spending while traveling, China is also one of the leaders, overtaking France last year to get on the fourth place. Chinese tourists spent almost 44 billion dollars on their travels abroad in 2009, an annual increase of around 8 million dollars, while people from other countries were giving up traveling to save money due to the financial crisis.

Rifai said “2009 was the worst year ever in the last 60 years” for global tourism but the sector had bounced back this year and is expected to post growth in 2011 as well. UNWTO forecasts international tourism arrivals to grow by 5-6% in 2010, while in 2011 the growth is predicted at 4%.