Ok, so you’ve got a bit of travel time in your schedule and are hoping to head to China. But, you don’t have too much time, so you’ve got to decide where to go and spend most of your time. The questions swirling in your head are: which part has the most to offer? Which city would be the most exciting? Which area would I get the most out of? While China boasts of a number of spectacular areas and sights to see, most people think of Beijing or Shanghai when they think of China. And for those looking for a China holiday, they will most likely visit one or both of these cities. But, if you’ve only got time for one, check out the following mini travel China guide to see which would be the most worthwhile for your short bit of China tourism!
Beijing: This is the famous capital of China. It is an ancient city with a long and incredible history. It contains innumerable historic buildings and displays of Chinese architecture. This city is a bit more traditionally Chinese, so it is home to less foreigners than Shanghai. But, it’s foreigner population is slowly increasing. The public transportation is older than Shanghai’s, but it is still easy to get around, and there are so many ways to do so whether through the metro, buses, trains, or taxis. Beijing also boasts of the Great Wall of China, which is a must-see for those traveling to China for the first time. It also has a better natural landscape view from the Great Wall than Shanghai, which is surrounded by a natural view affected by pollution. This city may be more difficult for those who do not speak Mandarin at all or very well.
Shanghai: This city is becoming much more cosmopolitan when it began its growth boom in the 20’s and 30’s. More foreigners are flocking to this city than to Beijing, and it has so many city-life things to do and sights to see. But, it is less “old” than Beijing, so its buildings and architecture have less character and historical significance due to its young age. It is more compact than Beijing, so taxiing around is very easy and convenient and cheap! This city would be a great choice for those who are traveling from different countries who don’t speak Mandarin very well.
While both of these cities have their excellent points and are worth seeing, it depends on the person and what kinds of things they want out of their China holiday and what kinds of travel they plan on doing. It also depends on their feelings about traditional versus more modern vibes. And lastly, they may have to learn a bit of Mandarin to help themselves get around. Either way, it is important to note that both cities are polluted, which affects the quality of the air, yet Shanghai is a bit lighter in that regard. But, if the holiday is quite short, it won’t affect the quality of the trip! Shanghai is for the young and the foreign and the modern while Beijing is for those interested in history, culture, and tradition. But, both are worth a visit! Make your choice and enjoy your bit of China tourism!
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