Things to do in China
The home of countless different cultures and a history that stretches back 5,000 years, coming up with an itinerary to cover such a country as complex as China can be daunting. Fortunately some of the highlights that every visitor to China will want to see provide a place to start.
Forbidden City. The Chinese imperial palace from the 15th century until the abdication of the last emperor in 1912, Beijing's Forbidden City includes 980 different buildings and is the largest collection of ancient wooden structures in the world.
The Great Wall. The earliest portions of the Great Wall along China's northern border date from the seventh-century BC. Counting all of its various branches, the Wall is estimated to stretch more than 13,000 miles in one of the world's most astounding built wonders.
Terracotta Army at Xi'an. Over 8,000 terracotta warriors and 130 chariots drawn by 520 horses were produced in the third century BC to accompany the then emperor into the afterlife upon his death. This fascinating army was buried and undiscovered until 1974, when a local farmer stumbled across them.
The 94th-floor toilets at Shanghai's Kohn, Pedersen, and Fox-designed landmark, known as the "bottle opener," take the title of the world's highest-altitude restrooms, at a vertigo-inducing 1,388 feet.
In the Central Business District, well-heeled urbanites take in live jazz over Moët champagne, crispy prawn fritters, and Cohiba cigars at Park Hyatt Beijing's bar.
Cross-cultural courses teach a wide range of Chinese business and social customs; classes like calligraphy explore China's heritage.