When planning your trip to China, consider visiting the Xian, the ancient capital city of China along with Shanghai, one of it’s top modern commercial cities. Read all about our recent trips there and find out what’s in store for you!
Shanghai: A Modern, Thriving City
From the time that I got off the plane in Shanghai, whether it was our lovely hostess or any of the hotel or tour staff that I encountered throughout the trip, they were eager to impress and provided levels of service which are hard to match, anywhere in the world.
Shanghai is a great city if you are not looking to explore much of the history or cultural side of the country. It is such a Westernized city that if I hadn’t of had my web access blocked to facebook and youtube, I might have thought that I was in Singapore or even Sydney.
For this reason, it is a preferred city for Australians to do business in China, as many of the people speak English quite well, and there is great night life, to wind down, in the evenings.
If you’re looking for an excellent hotel that is central, I would personally recommend the Fairmont Peace Hotel, as it’s 5 star and is so well respected it is often stayed at by foreign dignitaries.
Xian: Gateway to the Terracotta Warriors
I couldn’t have had more of a contrasting experience than when I landed in Xian. Although it was the ancient capital of China for thousands of years, in its current state, it is still quite far behind on the developmental path, at least from a westernized perspective.
I stayed in what was meant to be 4 star Holiday Inn, but despite their best efforts to please, the rooms were at least 30 years old, and a couple of times throughout my stay, the power went out in the afternoon, and you couldn’t find a cold beer in the whole hotel.
The Terracotta Warrior museum is about 45 minutes to an hour’s drive away (allow for longer in peak traffic). It was quite stunning to be able to get up-close to one of the terracotta figures, in a UNESCO World Heritage site. The farmer who orginally discovered the site works there, and signs official Terracotta Warrior books, so I recommend buying one, for the experience of getting to meet him while he is still alive.
Have you been to China or are planning to go?
We would love to hear from you!