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Cathay Pacific China Experience Tours give you the opportunity to explore some of China's most historic and beautiful cities. Learn more about what each city has to offer in the city descriptions below.





Beijing's Temple of HeavenBeijing's Temple of Heaven

As the capital of China, Beijing is one of the world's truly imposing cities. With a 3,000-year history and 11 million people, it is the political center of the People's Republic of China.


Situated in northeast China, Beijing adjoins the Inner Mongolian Highland to the northwest and the Great Northern Plain to the south. Rich in history, Beijing has been China's primary capital for more than seven centuries. China's imperial past and political present meet at Tiananmen Square, where the Forbidden City palace of the emperors gives way to the Great Hall of the People congress building and the mausoleum of Chairman Mao Zedong. The old city walls have been replaced by ring roads, and many of the old residential districts of alleys (Hutong) and courtyard houses have been turned into high-rise hotels, office buildings, and department stores.


Beijing, a dynamic city where the old and new intermingle, remains a magnet for visitors around the world.





Shanghai's spectacular city skylineShanghai's spectacular city skyline

Shanghai is China's most comprehensive industrial and commercial city, ranking the first in population and population density. As a tourist city, it attracts travelers from both home and abroad by its commercial activity rather than scenic beauty.


Shanghai is situated on the bank of the Yangtze River Delta, with East River in the east and Hangzhou delta in the south. Housing a population of over 16 million at present, it was once a small town supported by fishing and weaving before the first Opium War.


Late in 1990, the central government started developing the area, and has since become the well-known booming metropolis city.





Giant Pandas at the Wolong Research CenterGiant Pandas at the Wolong Research Center

Praised as "the best place for living", Chengdu is the perfect city for relaxation.


The handcrafts of the city have been famous for thousands of years and include brocades and embroideries. Sichuan cuisine with hot flavor is welcomed all over the country.


The iconic Giant Panda, with only about one thousand left in the wild, is the most well known endangered animal in the world. The Giant Panda Wolong Research Center, located in Chengdu, focuses on Giant Panda rescue, breeding and research work on bamboo ecology.





Kunming - City of Eternal SpringKunming - "City of Eternal Spring"

Nicknamed the "City of Eternal Spring", Kunming enjoys a pleasant year-round climate. It is also known as a city which plays host to the many minority cultures which inhabit Yunnan. Around twenty-six ethnic groups can be found living in or around the city.


The unique landscape of Kunming featuring attractions such as the Stone Forest and Dianchi Lake attracts millions of visitors each year.





Hangzhou's West LakeHangzhou's West Lake

Hangzhou was founded about 2,200 years ago during the Qin Dynasty; it is listed as one of the seven ancient capitals of China. Hangzhou is renowned for its historic relics and natural beauty. It has been ranked as one of the ten most scenic cities in China.


One of Hangzhou's most popular sights is West Lake. The area includes historical pagodas, cultural sites, as well as the natural beauty of the lake and hills.


The Venetian Marco Polo visited Hangzhou in the late 13th century and referred to the city as "beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world."





The Potala PalaceThe impressive Potala Palace

Lhasa is rightly one of the most featured and dreamt-about cities in the world. Lhasa is unique with an allure all of its own.


In the Tibetan language, Lhasa means the Holy Land or the Buddha Land. It is the center of Tibet's politics, economy and culture. The city is also appointed as one of the 24 historical and cultural cities of China.


The splendor and grandeur of the Potala Palace in Lhasa remains a world-famous symbol of the enigmatic power of politics and religion in this region.





The Terracotta Army of Qin EmperorThe Terracotta Army of Qin Emperor

Xian is a city with incredible history, as well as a prosperous modern city. As the capital city of Shannxi province, it holds a key position in the fertile plain between the highland plateau of the north and the Qinling Mountains to the south.


Xian has been the capital of eleven dynasties for more than 2000 years. Along with Rome and Constantinople, this city played a vital role in bridging the gap between east and west. There are numerous important sites and relics in this city. The Terracotta Army of Qin Emperor is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list and regarded as the eighth wonder of the world.





Stunning natural beauty of Shangri-LaStunning natural beauty of Shangri-La

For many years the debate went on to determine where is the Shangri-La as described in James Hilton's book, Lost Horizon. It was not until a few years ago that the international debate ended and confirmed that Diqing of Yunan Province was indeed what James Hilton was writing about. As a result, Diqing is now officially named Shangri-La and has been designated as a UNESCO destination.


You'll be mesmerized by the natural beauty of Shangri-La.




Yangtze River


Stunning natural beauty of Shangri-LaThe dramatic scenery on the Yangtze River

Coursing over a distance of 6,380 kilometers, the mighty Yangtze is the longest river in China and the third longest in the world after the Amazon in South America and the Nile in Africa. It begins at Qinghai plateau at southwest, and flows through nine provinces towards Shanghai and into the Yellow Sea. It is also the cradle of ancient Chinese civilization.


Along the river, you'll visit the Three Gorges which is famous for its dramatic scenery, deep valleys, verdant landscapes and stunning vistas. The Three Gorges Dam is also a must-see, as it is the world's largest construction project and an engineering marvel.



Hong Kong


The bustling city of Hong KongThe bustling city of Hong Kong

The bustling city of Hong Kong was just a collection of fishing villages when claimed by Britain in 1842 following the First Opium War with China. The Kowloon Peninsula was handed over in 1860 and a 99-year lease on the New Territories, comprising the area north of Kowloon up to the Shenzhen River plus 235 outlying islands, was granted in 1898.


Under the unique principle of 'One Country, Two Systems', Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997 as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. This arrangement allows Hong Kong to enjoy a high degree of autonomy, retaining its capitalist system, independent judiciary and rule of law, free trade and freedom of speech.


The unique blend of eastern and western influences, matched by diverse attractions, top-notch restaurants, hotels and shopping paradise, have all made Hong Kong Asia's prime tourist destination.


Why not begin or wrap up your China Experience at our home, Hong Kong?

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