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For thousands of years China has kept to itself, and foreigners still find it difficult to penetrate the inner depths of this fascinating and enigmatic nation. Since the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing showcased some of its most spectacular attractions however, there has been a major increase in travellers wanting to explore the exotic destination. There is a great deal to discover in this, the world's most populated country, the third largest in the world territorially with more than 1.3 billion citizens.

What makes China attractive as a travel destination for Western tourists is its fascinating culture and valuable antiquities. Ruins and relics from Neolithic settlements and the dynastic reigns of the mighty emperors are there to behold, along with adventures along the legendary ancient trade routes, such as the Silk Road. The Forbidden Palace, Great Wall of China, and Terracotta Army of X'ian are just some of the incredible attractions to be seen in this ancient Eastern empire.

The People's Republic of China has been under communist government since 1949, but is currently undergoing social and economic development. Emphasis is being placed on tourist facilities and infrastructure. Though the country's inconsistent human rights record makes it a somewhat controversial choice, China is opening the doors to its wealth of historical and cultural treasures and visitors are flooding in to be amazed and awed.

Organised tours are still the favoured way to explore China, but independent travel is slowly becoming easier. The major cities, like Beijing and Shanghai, are modern metropolises offering fast food and glitzy stores alongside centuries-old historical buildings and traditional eating houses. Archaeological wonders vie with amazing architecture in the interior, while majestic mountains and remote monasteries crown the northern areas.

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Luxury Hotels in China >

Best China Hotel Rates

Grand Hotel Beijing

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The St. Regis Tianjin

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Fairmont Beijing

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Island Shangri La Hong Kong

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Chateau Star River Guangzhou

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Hotel Lisboa

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The Astor Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Tianjin

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Hotel De EDGE

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* Lowest nightly rate based on select dates. Please click on hotel for details.

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