Last year, Julia, a member of our Webjet Exclusives team, travelled abroad and experienced one of our fantastic China tours firsthand. During a week of sightseeing, she was able to encounter rich Chinese culture, learn more about the country’s fascinating history and see some of the region’s most popular attractions.
Read Julia’s recount of her time touring China below and discover what you could see and do if you travel with Webjet Exclusives!
In November last year, I was lucky enough to experience my very first work famil and journeyed to China to join a week long Webjet Exclusives tour. I had never been to China before the trip and was unsure of what was in store, but it didn’t take long for the culture shock to hit. Like most of their traditional toilets, this country was a little overwhelming! China is different from Australia in so many ways, but let’s face it, that’s the beauty of travel!
We started our tour in Xi’an, a city that was once a terminal of the Silk Road. Set in central China, its history is vast and being the birthplace of ancient Chinese civilisation, there is much to see and learn. Our first day started with a visit to the world renowned Terracotta Army. The sheer size of the site pales in comparison to the incredible amount of work that must have taken place to create, and uncover, this mammoth army of life-sized figures. Uncovered by local farmers digging a well in 1974, the 7,000 unique terracotta soldiers and horses form an elaborate mausoleum created to protect the first emperor of China in the afterlife. This marks one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th Century and it’s not hard to see why.
The next day, we ventured to the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, a majestic temple built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE). The pagoda was eerily serene and set amidst stunning traditional Chinese gardens – a perfect reflection of its holy importance for Buddhist pilgrims.
Spanning for a total of 14 km, Xi’an’s city fortifications are some of the oldest and best in China, and no visit would be complete without a walk or bike ride around the length of it. We also ventured to the Muslim Quarter, a bustling market that seemed to go on forever. It offered everything from souvenirs and street food stalls to knock-off designer bags and nut bazaars. It was an experience for all the senses and didn’t disappoint.
Next, we flew to Shanghai, a completely different city in many ways. It was modern and tinged with a strong European influence, particularly evident in the architecture. We enjoyed an evening cruise down the famous Bund – an ideal way to admire the city, before watching jazz at the luxurious Fairmont Peace Hotel.
Our final day of touring included a visit to the “Venice of the East”, Zhujiajiao. Established around 1,700 years ago and well known for its ancient water canals, we took a gondola ride to the centre of Zhujiajiao where the waterways are lined with food and souvenir stalls, restaurants and silk shops. The city’s unique bridges, old homes lined with weeping willow trees, and decorated courtyards brought a sense of tranquillity to an otherwise bustling tourist hub.
As the last day of the tour arrived, the time had come to farewell the rest of the tour group and head home with a full suitcase and plenty of great memories in tow. It’s impossible not to leave with an appreciation for China’s ancient history and its stories. The fully-inclusive Webjet Exclusives’ tour took the stress out of travelling too, leaving time only to enjoy the surprises offered up by this intriguing and vast country.
Interested in exploring China or another great part of world? Browse through the wide range of tours and holiday packages available from Webjet Exclusives, and start planning your next domestic or international break!