China has a rich cultural background, with over 5,000 years of recorded history! For thousands of years, the nation lived in relative isolation, passing from one monarch to the next. Splendidly diverse in its geographic, ethnic, culinary and social make-up, China is a nation on the march. Highways are built every day, traditions are re-written, socio-economic reforms are implemented. Travellers will not only find a gateway to the past, but catch a glimpse of the future.
Developing at a rate unmatched in human history, already huge cities are adding sprawling suburbs and cutting-edge architecture on a day-by-day basis, even as an ever-expanding web of high-speed rail ties the country together. Nevertheless, this apparent modernity is based on a civilization that has remained intact, continually recycling itself, for over four millennia. Chinese script reached perfection during the Han dynasty, and those stone lions standing sentinel outside sleek new skyscrapers first appeared as temple guardians over three thousand years ago. Indeed, it is the tension and contrasts between change and continuity that make modern China so fascinating.