As a family who hopes to be able to do more and more travelling once baby number 3 arrives, there are several places on our family travel ‘bucket list’. As well as UK and European destinations (Cornwall, Iceland, Copenhagen, Greek Islands and Skiing), we also have some long haul ones that we’d absolutely love to experience, and also have the children experience too.
One of these long haul destinations is China. Having spent time in South Korea 8 years ago, and finding it a huge culture shock, I’d be gearing up to the fact that China is similar, but with that experience under my belt I’d have a whole heap more confidence when it came to going with Adam and the children.
So why China? Especially as for such a large and continuously developing country it’s not always deemed the easiest to get around.
Here are 5 reasons why I would LOVE to travel to China:
The Great Wall
I know it sounds a huge touristy cliche, but one of the things you HAVE to do when visiting China is to surely see The Great Wall? We’d love to climb it, and there are so many parts of it to explore- from the more touristy zone in Beijing, to more remote and picturesque parts.
In Shanghai there are apparently lots of places for children to explore, from the top of the Shanghai Tower (world’s 2nd tallest building) to the numerous theme parks. As a transport addict, Freddie would also love to experience the super-fast, magnetically-levitated trains, so we’d be onto a winner here!
Forget your local Chinese takeaway- actual Chinese food is something else! Fresher, more delicious and varied. And what I didn’t know is that each province has its own unique dishes, from Beijing’s established (Peking) duck restaurants, to the famous Szechuan pepper and the hot and spicy dishes of the Hunan province. Variety is the spice of life as they say! And because the food is inexpensive, it’s the perfect opportunity for our little ones to sample some tasty new delights without it costing a fortune.
Pushing us out of our travel comfort zone
Well, not TOO much anyway! Because of the cultural differences and of course, the huge language barrier in terms of both speaking and reading, a trip to China (like I found with South Korea) really does push you out of your comfort zone. The feeling and ‘high’ you get once you’ve experienced such a trip is absolutely amazing, and gives you confidence to try more and more things. A great ‘happy medium’ for considering a trip like this (especially if you’re a little nervous) is to use a company that specialises in organised tours to countries like China, such as Encounters Travel. They can plan tailor-made family holidays to China on a variety of budgets, and sort all the logistics and detail for you, leaving you to simply enjoy the holiday of a lifetime.
Meet gorgeous pandas in Chengdu
One of the things I would love us to do as a family in China is to visit one of the Giant Panda bases situated around Chengdu, and I know that the children (especially panda-fan Sasha) would love to visit them. The bases aim to create a like-for-like of the panda’s wild living environment, and to train the pandas to adapt to wild living, before then releasing them into the wild.
So those are the reasons we’d love to visit China as a family…
Would you like to visit China? Or have you visted China before? If so, what would you like to see, or what are the best places to visit as a family? I’d love to hear!