China has fascinated travelers for hundreds of years, even before the time of Marco Polo. Napoleon characterized it as "the sleeping giant." It has been called an enigma. It was the dominant culture of Asia well into the nineteenth century. But it has really only been since 1979 and the opening up, that tourists have been welcomed, even encouraged. The tourism industry in China today is booming.
It is almost impossible to pick up a newspaper or magazine today and not read some story about China. It is an undeniable fact China is developing into one of the world's major economic powers. Emerging from this economic success story, China is busy projecting itself into an even larger role on the global stage. The Beijing Olympics in 2008 are widely seen, both domestically and internationally, as the country's coming-out party. China is impossible to ignore.
The one comment we hear time and again from our clients is "Geez, this isn't at all what we expected." That's the point. How do you explain a country with a five thousand year history, a country shaken to its core by two revolutions in the 20th century, a country going through the most dramatic economic transformation in the history of the world? It's impossible.
But forget all that. We think the overwhelming reason to visit China is....it's FUN. There are no two ways around it, seeing how one-fifth of the world's population lives is not to be missed. Walking on the Great Wall, grabbing a quick bite at a small restaurant, gawking at the Terracotta Warriors, witnessing the driving skills of a Beijing taxi driver, cycling through a small village; it has to be experienced to be understood.See China for yourself!