Destination – China

I recently visited China and Thailand last Christmas and it really was a trip to remember. Despite China being the coldest it was in the last 25 years when I visited, the sites and culture was great to experience. I first arrived in Shanghai, where I stayed in the four seasons, which was a fabulous hotel. The service was especially good, as everyone was so friendly. Shanghai was not as cultural as the other places I had visited in China, as it had become quite commercial, but it was still a great city to visit. A famous attraction in the city was the ‘bullet train’ which was the fastest train in China, and it honestly felt as if you were on a rollercoaster that was never ending. After staying in Shanghai for 4 days, I flew out to Xian, which was famous for the Terracotta Warriors. Although it was raining, so it wasn’t the greatest weather to visit the warriors, it didn’t dampen my mood. The story behind the finding of the warriors was that a young famer was digging to plant seeds and he came across one warrior. When he told people about it, they dug up the whole ground and found thousands of warriors. Some of the warriors were slightly broken, but the majority of them were extremely well preserved. It really was a magnificent sight to see all the warriors which were built hundreds of years ago; and I even got to meet the farmer who found the warriors, which was a nice surprise, although we could not communicate due to my inability to speak Chinese and his lack of English!

My next stop after Xian was Beijing, which I was definitely most excited about. The hotel in which I stayed, called the Peninsula, was incredibly welcoming, and their Christmas tree must have been the biggest and most extravagant I have seen in a lifetime. Beijing was the coldest out of the three places I visited, as it was snowing heavily, but again I did not let this stop me from going out to explore. The first day in the city, a tour guide took us to Tiananmen Square, which was famous for revolutions in the 20th Century. Despite there being extremely tight security, getting to stand in a famous Chinese landmark was really exciting. Following this, I visited ‘The Forbidden City’, which was a lot bigger than I had thought. I think I found it more exciting when I discovered Karate Kid was filmed there, but nonetheless, the city itself was really quite something. The final day in Beijing, I spent at the famous ‘Great Wall of China’. This was definitely my most favourite place to visit. I still find it unbelievable that it was hand built, as it is so incredibly large. However, setting foot on the wall was something I could tick off my bucket list. As the weather was so cold, the pathway on the wall was fairly icy, so it seemed like a mission to walk along it, as the wall itself was extremely steep. Nonetheless, after a good few hours spent taking touristy pictures, and walking for miles, it was time to return back to the hotel for the fight to Thailand.

Overall, the trip was unforgettable, and definitely a must see destination to visit, but perhaps in the summer, when the weather has warmed up a bit. Although I had turned vegetarian during my stay there, I would highly recommend a trip to China to experience the culture and lifestyle of the country!

Nikita Shah

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