Where to go in China
List of regions
The subtropical southern region of Guizhou is little known outside of China, yet its thriving minority groups, terraced hills and craggy limestone peaks make it a highly rewarding destination, either in its own right or as an extension to tours in neighbouring Yunnan or further afield.
Chengdu is the relaxed capital of Sichuan province and proudly holds the title of ‘the panda capital of the world'; seeing these endangered animals is certainly one of the main reasons to visit the region.
The mighty Yangtze River, or Chang Jiang, dominates China's central region, flowing for more than 6,300km from the glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau to the East China Sea, near Shanghai.
The walled city of Xian is the capital of Shaanxi province and stands as the most important city in China's west, famous as the resting place of the huge Terracotta Army, created to protect the tomb of Qin Shi Huang.
Shanghai is undergoing the greatest economic explosion the world has ever seen, as it begins to claw back the position it held as East Asia's leading business city before World War II.
Tibet has exerted a magical pull over travellers for centuries, from its position at the roof of the world. It's rich in culture and adorned with sacred mountains, vibrant monasteries and palaces, virgin wilderness and a stoical Tibetan Buddhist heritage.
For many people Guangxi in China's ethnically diverse south-west is the very essence of rural, romantic China. The region's main city, Guilin, is instantly recognisable from its incredible landscape of mountainous green limestone karst pinnacles rising up alongside the Li River.
Yunnan stands apart from the rest of China on the southwest frontier, shielded from the rest of the country by the mountainous provinces of Sichuan and Guizhou.
Beijing has played out the drama of the middle kingdom's imperial history for millennia. The 'northern capital' has a stunning wealth of treasures in its many impressive temples, palaces and labyrinthine, old alleyways (hutongs), yet is today emerging as a modern metropolis.