5 Star China Travel
I’d always wanted to travel around China. One of my passions is history. I’ve been to Athens, Egypt, Jerusalem for that reason. I mean, don’t get me wrong there are plenty of other reasons I’ve been to these places, I’m always partial to bit of good food and drink too!
However, one place I’d never been able to tick off the list was China. I make a fairly modest wage, and holidays in China just seemed a bit rich for my blood. But, I always kept coming back to this idea. I mean, China has such a rich cultural heritage; it was one of the most advanced nations in the ancient world! I must admit I was also kind of drawn by the exotic mystery of China. It just seemed to tick all the right boxes for me; culture, history, food, scenery…
The challenge was getting there. How the hell could I afford it? Then I happened by a little company called 5 Star China Travel. I was able to tailor my package including all the sites I knew about, and even a couple I didn’t, and all for an incredibly reasonable £1295. That brought me 14 days travelling around China, and I couldn’t wait to get started.
After landing in Beijing, and being transported to the hotel, which I have to say was excellent; it was down to the bar for me. The thing about these organised tours is that you always meet an eclectic group of people on them. Some will be seasoned travellers who have been to a host of places that make me green with envy; Peru, Cambodia, Vietnam (there’s a couple more on my list now); others are more modestly travelled, anxious to see more; and others are like me, been to a clutch of places, just not everywhere. However, there is one thing we’ve all got in common; we can’t wait to get started…
Waking up with a slightly fuzzy head, but otherwise feeling fine, we’re off to see our first sight, The Great Wall of China. Now believe me when I say this, you really cannot fathom the scale of this magnificent structure without seeing it yourself. It takes your breath away. It’s a triumph of human engineering and testament to the will of mankind. I’ve seen the Pyramids at Giza and the Great Wall easily rivals them. Incredible. When you stand on top of it, facing into the breeze, I can tell you, your hangover quickly disappears. You can almost see the Mongol Hordes pouring over the mountainside. A must see.
Other highlights in Beijing included the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, the scene of that famous image of a student refusing to budge from the path of the tank in protest to the Chinese Government.
Not all my time was spent in Beijing; we also went to see the Terracotta Army of the First Chinese Emperor, Qin Shi Huang. The hundreds of Terracotta Warriors, Horses and Chariots are quite a sight to behold. Even more amazing is the fact that every warrior is unique. They have all have unique facial features. Talk about attention to detail. Nobody does scale quite like Ancient China.
Like I mentioned previously I was also here for the scenery, and it doesn’t get much more beautiful than Gullin. With its sprawling hills, stepped for agriculture (how anyone grows anything here is beyond me), as well as its beautiful, serene caves such as “The Palace of Natural Arts” there are many different wonderful things to see. If your life and work is anything like mine you’ll revel in the opportunity to just sit and get lost in your own thoughts.
Unfortunately all things come to an end, and after a short stay in Shanghai, I was back on a flight bound for the UK. The thing is I feel like I barely scratched the surface on holiday in China. I think there so much more for me to see here, which is strange because I’ve always felt fulfilled, like I couldn’t have done much more after most of my holidays. Oh well, I guess it just means I’ll have to return some day; that is after I’ve been to Vietnam and Cambodia…