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It can be hard to know where to look in China. The China of old is a visual delight, with its temples and dancing dragons, but modern China dazzles with sky-high towers and dizzying innovations. With eyes wide open you can see a whole new world.

Book holidays in China to discover one of the most mystical and mesmerising destinations on the planet...

In China, holidays can be taken in a variety of ways. There's a delicious menu of attractions just begging to be sampled. Just for starters, consider: the mighty monuments of Beijing; the Great Wall of China; sizzling Shanghai, where the colonial meets the ultra-modern; the immense Yangtze River; bustling Guangzhou; and the islands of Hong Kong, Macau and Hainan, where the city of Sanya continues to grow as a tourist destination.

Visitors flock to Beijing, the capital of the People's Republic of China, to find inner peace in the glorious temples, which dot the cityscape and provide serene havens for some of the city's 20 million or so residents. Yes, 20 million, around a third of the population of the UK in one huge sprawl of a city. With ancient roots and an eye on the future, Beijing is a terrific taster for the rest of China. You mustn't miss Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace.

Shanghai is an equally intoxicating slice of the Orient. Known as the “Paris of the East”, this city on the Yangtze River Delta hosts a variety of unique experiences. Get up early and practise T'ai chi with the city's elderly (and fit) residents or hire a bicycle and join the masses on two wheels. Stroll along the Huangpu River on the Bund, dodging locals selling all kinds of weird and wonderful objects, and see old Shanghai bowing in the presence of new Shanghai across the water in Pudong, where the skewered spheres of the Oriental Pearl Tower dominate the skyline. 

Guangzhou, once known as Canton, is somewhat overshadowed as a city destination by Beijing and Shanghai. It's the southern gateway into China, close to the islands of Hong Kong and Macau, and it has much to offer visitors. Known for its traditional cuisine, China's third largest city is making massive strides towards tomorrow and is a fantastic reminder that China is an ever-evolving nation. The neon lights of the towers reflected in the Pearl River frame the city perfectly.

More and more holidaymakers are flying into Sanya, on the island of Hainan. This is a tropical beach paradise not commonly associated with a country such as China. Located on the south of the island, which is south of China itself, the beaches of white sand and aquamarine waters are like those found in the Caribbean and on remote Pacific islands. 

That's China for you: you think you've got the measure of her and then she takes you by complete surprise. 

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Renminbi (RMB)

Average flight time(from London)

10 hrs 25 mins

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