Beijing's famous Tiananmen Square is big enough to hold one million people, while the historic Forbidden City is home to thousands of imperial rooms – and Beijing is still growing. The capital has witnessed the emergence ever-higher rising towers, new restaurants and see-and-be-seen nightclubs. But at the same time, the city has managed to retain its very individual charm. The small tea houses in the backyards, the traditional fabric shops, the old temples and the noisy street restaurants make this city special.
Known formerly as Canton, Guangzhou is the third biggest city in China because of its position, on the Pearl River. It has long been one of China's main commercial and trading centers. Today this giant metropolis is a famous cultural city with history of more than 2,200 years and is home to old temples and gleaming steel towers. As one of the fastest growing cities in Asia, Guangzhou has also seen a quick growth on tourism, attracting visitors with its cosmopolitan atmosphere, Cantonese cuisine and with its vibrant nightlife. The vast array of shopping options and the close proximity to other major Asian cities are also the reasons why visitors are attracted to this dynamic city.
One of the oldest cities in China, Ningbo is the birthplace of the Hemudu culture, which dates back over seven thousand years. Translated from Mandarin as ''the Serene Waves'', Ningbo is located at the shores of Hangzhou Bay and is a long-established international port and trading post. With the Hangzhou Bridge, the longest trans-oceanic link in the world, Ningbo is now directly connected to Shanghai and has emerged as an important international hub in its own right.
Shanghai is the shiniest gem in modern China’s jewel box. It’s a hip, contemporary city that’s charging into the future with all the energy of its famous Maglev train. Yet if you veer away from the sleek highways and glitzy shopping streets you can still stumble upon a more traditional Shanghai, with all its character and flavour. In the tiny back streets, wet-market vendors peddle their wares - buckets of bright green vegetables, fish flapping in shallow plastic bowls and heaps of crayfish crawling over each other. In the parks at dawn, hordes of locals practice tai chi, sword movements and ballroom dancing.