If you’re thinking about travelling to China for your next holiday, you probably have lots of questions, such as where in China should you go? How can you get there? And what should you do when you arrive? Luckily, we’re here to help you find answers for these questions, with the help of Tianjin Airlines!
Tianjin Airlines offers a variety of options when travelling from the UK to China, including direct flights out of London to three popular destinations – Tianjin, Chongqing, Xi’an – and a connecting flight to Zhengzhou. Between these fantastic major metropolises there is something for everyone, and Tianjin Airlines will get you there on-time and in style. Settle in to their comfy seats, while the time away with their extensive choice of in-flight entertainment, dine on delicious food, and before you know it you’ll have arrived in China!
Culture, historic sites, landmarks, local cuisine, day trips, and so much more awaits you upon arrival, so get ready for experiences you will not find anywhere else!
Is local cuisine your thing? You can enjoy authentic Chinese food at any of these four great destination cities, but foodie or not, check out Tianjin’s Nanshi Food Street, to enjoy crispy and sweet fried-dough twists called “Mahua”, or another decadent treat known as a “Dragon’s Beard”. “Goubuli steamed stuffed buns or the curiously named, “Ear-hole Fried Cake” are also on the menu. Street vendors serve up mouthwatering yet modestly priced foodstuffs, typically on a stick, making them easy to eat, maybe too easy, since it is hard to say no to just one more.
Tianjin is a two-hour bus ride to the Huangyaguan Pass enabling you to satisfy the mandatory bucket-list visit to the Great Wall. The wall here is slightly smaller in scale (a mere 42 kilometres), but there is nothing insignificant about its stone base dating back to the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-557), or its surrounding brick ramparts constructed during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Watchtowers vary in shape and constitution while outposts provide additional reinforcement,rendering the entire defensive system quite impressive. The “Huangyaguan”, or yellow cliff, Pass gets its name from the colour of nearby rocky cliffs that appear a washed in gold at sunset. Far from the hustle and bustle of the more commonly visited city of Beijing, the Huangyaguan Pass has fewer tourists, making your Great Wall experience more personal and enriching.
Interested in even more history and culture? Experience Chinese civilisation at its roots and learn about its deep religious history at the colourful Dabei Buddhist Monastery. Built during the Ming Dynasty, Dabei is the oldest and largest monastery in the area. Located in Old Town Tianjin, people line up to rub the healing pot before rubbing the parts of their own body that they wish to heal.
Explore Chongqing and Chengdu
Chongqing, the “Mountain City”, is located on the upper junction of the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers. It has recently experienced great economic expansion yet has managed to preserve the wonderful natural environment of its undulating terrain. Visitors from around the world come here to experience its many natural wonders first hand while absorbing its rich cultural heritage. Try a cruise boat tour to the breathtaking Three Gorges.
One of China’s greatest attractions, and a reason many people travel to this magnificent country, is to see the “national treasure” of China; the Giant Panda. The best place to see giant pandas is in Chengdu, also known as the “Country of Heaven”, where you can visit the Giant Panda Research Base to learn about the amazing conservation work going into preserving these beautiful creatures. From Chongqing, Chengdu is a 1.5 – 2.5 hour train journey (depending on which stations you travel from/to) and trains leave regularly.
If you don’t fancy travelling however, you can also see giant pandas in Chongqing’s very own zoo! Covering over 110 acres, and housing around 230 different species, Chongqing Zoo is a must-see for any animal lover. As well as the giant pandas, you can see red pandas, elephants, giraffes, orangutans, tigers, and much more! Once you’ve thoroughly explored the zoo, The Tea Garden is a perfect place for you to relax and give your feet a well-deserved rest.
Capital of the Shaanxi Province, Xi’an is located on the Guanzhong Plain and is one of the most ancient and populated cities in China. The starting point for the Northern route of the legendary Silk Road, Xi’an is also the oldest of the Four Great Ancient Capitals having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history. The city is steeped in centuries of history and culture, and ancient relics can be found throughout the city and surrounding countryside.
Perhaps the most famous of these ancient relics is the Terracotta Army, which is a must-see for anyone visiting Xi’an, and a reason in itself to travel to China. Discovered in 1974 by local farmers digging a well, the Terracotta army consists of over 8000 terracotta soldiers, chariots, and horses, all built to protect the first Emperor of China in the afterlife. A visit to the on site museum, called Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, is an absolute must for those who want to immerse themselves in the fascinating history of China and learn about the remarkable Terracotta Army.
If you fancy getting out of the city and into the beautiful Chinese countryside, a journey up to Mount Huashan makes the perfect day trip. Located 75 miles from Xi’an (don’t worry, the journey only takes 30-40 minutes on the high speed train!), Huashan Mountain is made up of 5 individual peaks, each with a unique character. The mountain has several routes and climbs, as well as two separate cable cars – one up to North Peak, and one to West Peak – so whether you’re looking for adventure, or prefer a more gentle pace, there’s something for you.
Capital of the Henan Province and located on the south bank of the Yellow River, Zhengzhou is situated in the centre of China. It has become a major transportation hub, making getting around this growing city a breeze. With a history dating to Neolithic times, it is best known as the ancient Shang Dynasty capital, the earthen walls of which still stand in the city centre. History buffs will revel in the Henan Museum, whose pyramid shape holds many prehistory and early China exhibits.
For those looking to immerse themselves in Chinese culture, a visit to Shaolin Temple is a must. It’s an hour away by taxi, but definitely worth the trip. Not only did this temple play an important role in the development of Bhuddism in China, it is also the heart of Chinese Kung Fu, which has been practised by Shaolin monks for over 1500 years. Whether you’re a martial arts enthusiast or not, make sure you don’t miss one of the incredible Kung Fu demonstrations, which are performed by students of the school throughout the day.
There are so many reasons to visit China, and Tianjin Airline makes it very easy to get there, with direct routes from London to Tianjin, Chongqing and Xi’an, and a connecting flight to Zhengzhou. It is truly a country unlike any other, and offers experiences which will expand your horizons, and give you a new appreciation for the world. All that’s left now is to decide when to go!