Ask the Experts: Can you Help me Plan my Trip to China?

Why hellooooo there, and welcome to another weekly Ask the Experts instalment, this is the blog series where we invite you to ask our Travel Experts any, travel related, question you like.

Unfortunately for us, it’s Amy’s last week here at STA Travel, and therefore as an Expert on our Ask the Experts series (sob!) but before she flies off to teach children in Vietnam, she’s here, along with Ask the Experts veteran Claire, to help blog reader Marcus with his China travel dilemma. What’s up Marcus?

I’ve always been interested in travelling to China, it seems like a really interesting place to visit, but it’s so vast! Which part should I visit and how do you suggest I can make the most of my time there? Marcus, Chelmsford.

China is absolutely one heck of a travel adventure. There’s so much you could do, but what do our two Experts suggest you should do? Let’s find out…

Visit a panda breeding centre to get up close to these amazing animals.

Amy Pearson from STA Travel Leeds Vicar Lane says

China is such an amazing place to visit, filled with intriguing places and customs. Unfortunately obtaining a visa there isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and often they will want you to pre plan and book in your entire trip, so the easiest way to do this is by booking yourself on one of our many trips and make it hassle free. A personal favourite of mine is the Wild China as it so varied and the trip consists of a mixture of old rural China blended with the bustling cities.

The tour begins in Beijing with a city tour and a trip to the legendary Tiananmen Square. Then you take the overnight train over to Xi’an and see the amazing Terracotta Warriors.

The Terracotta Warriors are one of China's most visited historical sights.

Next stop on the itinerary is a once in a lifetime experience to spend the day at a Panda breading sanctuary and get up close to these majestic creatures! The trip continues onto Leshan, where you will spend a night in a Buddhist monastery in the mountains, something I’m sure you will find incredibly interesting.

The trip then travels though central China stopping off at the Tiger Gorge, Dali, Kunming and a three-day excursion around the beautiful countryside of Yangzhou. The trip then takes you back to modernisation by finishing in the bustling city of Hong Kong.

Claire Whittington from STA Travel Bournemouth says

Like you said Marcus, China is huge so I’d definitely recommend one of our brilliant overland trips to really make the most of your time and to ensure you don’t miss anything. However, if you want to do something a bit different and really immerse yourself into the country and culture why not do one of our Voluntours.

This mixes travelling around the country with a few days volunteering where you can not only make a difference, but also means you get to spend some time in one place to get to know the country better.

Your trip would start in Beijing where you can tick two of Asia’s most iconic places of your list as you visit Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China. You will then spend 3 days helping on an organic farm with people with learning difficulties, who are often shunned from society.

Don't miss China's historic Great Wall.

From here it is off to Xi’an, where you will explore the city and visit the awe-inspiring Terracotta Warriors and have the option to cycle around the ancient city. Next is, what I think has to be the highlight of the trip…. 3 days working at the Bifengxia Panda Breeding Centre where you will learn about the Pandas and help care for them including preparing food, cleaning the enclosures and gathering behavioural data.

Your final stop is Shanghai which brings you back to the city life where the busy streets and huge skyscrapers will remind you of what a global force China now is. What a great way to see such a diverse country!

Thanks for your suggestion Amy and all your hand work over our Ask the Experts series, next week Lucy is joining the team to bring a whole array of fresh ideas to the Ask the Experts panel. To email her and the lovely Claire for help with your travel plans send us the details here, and we’ll put it to them right here on the blog very soon.