When I first visited China in 1994, there were more bicycles on the streets of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan...Read more
Capital City: Beijing
Climate: Dry Seasons and Wet Monsoons
International Dialing Code: +86
Premier: Xi Jinping
China is the land of contrasts. High-rise towers—signs of a prosperous middle-class and of an overly ambitious (even hubristic) ruling elite—are built by the millions of migrant rural workers, who live on an income of US$50 per month. Geography is not an exception: With a size roughly equal to that of U.S., the country hosts arid deserts and the Himalaya Mountains, as well as fertile plains and some of world’s longest rivers. Coastal and southern cities have mild weather year-round, while the inland cities farther to the north typically experience dry, cold winters and muggy, hot summers.
As a foreigner, you will feel pampered in China. It may be your hair, or the color of your eyes, or the fact that you speak English…any of these will turn heads. It may well happen that you are offered the seat on a bus. You are bound to find here friendly, hospitable and, generally speaking, well-educated people.
Living in China can be a challenge too. Cities are crowded and busy and English is not widely spoken. There are lots of expat groups though so finding friends and like-minded people will never be a problem. The experience of living in this unique culture is certain to be something that will stay with you forever.
What stands out in memory from our three-week adventure along the Silk Road? Here are my eight most memorable experiences... #1: The rooftop terrace of the Dunhuang Hotel Image Source: iStock/karenfoleyphotography After another long, hot, dusty day—this one touring the Mogao Grottoes—followed by another long, dusty drive... we arrived finally at the Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel. Though we'd asked our guide to book us into the best accommodation available in each of the cities where we...Read more