Home to more World Heritage Sites than anywhere else on earth, China makes a phenomenal family holiday. However, it’s a complex country where working with local guides pays off. Although tourism is well-managed, most areas are safe and with so much to see, wherever you go will be a rewarding experience.
Good domestic rail and air services make multi-centre holidays in China doable and affordable.
China has 50 UNESCO World Heritage sites, second only to Italy’s 51.
The country’s iconic attractions include: the Great Wall; The Forbidden City; the Yangtze River; the Li River Karst Landscape; Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries; the Terracotta Army; Xanadu and the Silk Roads.
Hong Kong has its own Disneyland and dozens of other waterparks, theme parks and family attractions as well as 41 city beaches and direct flights to all major cities in mainland China.
China has over 292 different languages, but English is widely spoken in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Chinese law’s very strict and penalties for crimes involving visitors are particularly harsh. So for all its size and diversity, China’s one of the safest countries for family travel.
China is currently the fourth most visited country in the world, attracting 55.7 million tourists annually. The WTO estimate it will rise to number one by 2020.
Don’t hire a car in China. The easiest way to get about enormous cities is by public transport, taxi or rickshaw (prices are pre-set and all drivers are state-licenced). Fast and frequent train services and regular domestic flights connect all major tourist areas. And, if you’re planning to go off the beaten track and don’t speak Chinese, there are tours to almost everywhere and many are specially designed for families with kids.