Forget stereotypes and plunge into a whirl of oriental adventure. With a stunning population of over 1.3 billion and territory spanning over 9,640,821 sq km, China is a country that delights with diversity of a kind unseen elsewhere on the planet. One of the world's oldest cradles of civilization as well as a prime location for international business, it rightfully assumes its place among the top travel destinations and no doubt satisfies even the most fastidious traveler. A journey through this vast and bewildering country is a never-to-be-forgotten experience of something virtually multifarious, yet seeming to be a cohesive whole wrapped in a mist of the inexplicable.
Starting off in Hong Kong, then venturing from the shores of the Yellow and the East China Seas into the mainland, one comes across densely populated plains sprinkled with thriving industrial hubs. Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and Shengyang, they all attract with their cutting-edge architecture, bustling nightlife, multiculturalism, and most importantly, relatively moderate prices.
Following on the westward route, passing the deltas of China's two major rivers, you're in for an awe-inspiring encounter. The seemingly limitless stretches of Tibet, crowned with the sky-reaching Himalayas, overwhelm with tranquility and ooze with Buddhist spirituality. Impressive monasteries situated at the feet of the mountains and quiet Ming-Dynasty villages perched on the peaks testify to the richness of the age-old tradition and are likely to leave you with a couple of life-changing insights.
Yet it is the people who constitute a true measure of this vast and partly unexplored territory. Flocking in the metropolises or scattered across the western plateaus, they give China its flamboyant character and endear the visitor with their commitment to tradition, be it family values, religion, or table manners.
And all this is just a tiny bit of what China has to offer...at least before it's seized by encroaching globalization, so you'd better hurry up.