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Now, An Easier Way To Visit China

China’s popularity as a vacation destination is booming.
Not only is China a new World Trade Organization member and host to the 2008 Summer Olympics, the country is also projected to soon be the number-one travel destination, according to the World Tourism Organization.

City Tourist Attractions

This fascinating country has much to offer travelers. China’s capital of Beijing is home to the mysterious Forbidden City and some of the best-preserved sections of China’s Great Wall. The city of Xian hosts one of the world’s greatest archaeological treasures, the Terra Cotta Warriors; and Shanghai offers gleaming skyscrapers and designer boutiques side by side with the historic Old Town.

Yangtze River Wonders

Although many tourists come to China to see these key sights and shop, travelers who limit themselves to the cities miss one of China’s most amazing treasures-her life blood, the mighty Yangtze River. Flowing 3,964 miles, the Yangtze is the world’s third-longest river, carving its way through the stunning “Three Gorges” on its way to the world’s largest dam. By combining a land trip with a river cruise along the Yangtze, tourists can witness the misty mountains and sheer cliffs of these famed Three Gorges, the engineering marvel of the Three Gorges Dam and turquoise waters of the Lesser Three Gorges, as well as catch a glimpse of China’s traditional culture, from farmers plowing with water buffalo to colorful pagodas clinging to the cliffs.

Language Barriers And Food

Many potential travelers to China are concerned about the language barrier and “fried rice syndrome”-day after day of the same, poor-quality food. With the combination of a Yangtze river cruise and key city tours in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai in one package, however, a cruise-tour solves these concerns while offering the best of China’s attractions. The leader in the industry, Viking River Cruises, offers four different China cruise-tours for the traveler. Each is all-inclusive with intra-China air, English-speaking guides who escort travelers from airport arrival to departure and hotel stays in five-star/best-in-city properties. The company has operational offices in both Beijing and Chongqing that ensure the menus offered during the tours are of high quality and variety, and regularly reviews all aspects of the land tours, from hotels and restaurants to their own team of experienced guides.

For the cruise portion of Viking River Cruises China itineraries, travelers sail on Viking Century Sky or Viking Century Sun, the newest, most luxurious ships on the river. Both ships feature all-outside cabins, each with a private balcony. The company is unique in China in offering onboard Swiss management to oversee operations, plus Western food alternating with Chinese menus by celebrity chef Martin Yan.

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