China

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.

A must see in Suzhou, 45 minutes by train from Shanghai, the garden dates to the Song dynasty. In the main area, covered walkways open onto a pond with arched bridges and flowering shrubs. Following Taoist philosophy, the garden was designed for contemplation.

Bonnie Groot, the American-born owner of Arch Angel Antiques, is an expert on 5,000 years’ worth of Chinese history—and accordingly, her cavernous shop at the beginning of Hollywood Road carries a spectacularly large range of antiques.

Windows of the World's re-creations of international landmarks have been built on a scale to please a pharaoh, with a nearly life-sized copy of the Eiffel Tower, a mini Mount Rushmore, pyramids that look exactly like the real ones at Giza, and a slavish replication of Manhattan, complete with a l