Traveling to China
China's massive terrain is extremely diverse: you can go from crowded, dizzying big cities, to desolate mountain-top villages in the matter of a few stops on a high-speed train. While in Beijing, step back in time as you walk in footsteps of old-world emperors in the Forbidden City, one of the biggest well-preserved concentrations of ancient buildings in all of China. Afterward, take a completely different turn and enjoy the views of 798 Art District, a cluster of decommissioned electronics factories turned contemporary art galleries. Shanghai is another city that dazzles the senses and is a must-see for many tourists. This fast-paced, dynamic city prides itself on being at the forefront of technology and commerce, and has fantastic entertainment and nightlife as well. A bit west of Shanghai, you can roam thousand-year old gardens, stroll along the banks back-alley canals, and visit the incredible I.M. Pei museum in the city of Suzhou. Headed south, there's Macau, an eceletic, charismatic, casino-laden city whose Portuguese influences are evident in the cobblestone backstreets and baroque churches.
Just briefly panning over the map of China--with its cities jam-packed with a myriad of places to see, things to do, and people to meet--could exhaust even the most seasoned travelers.
Best Times for Traveling
As mentioned above, China is huge. This means that the weather depends greatly on which region you're visiting. Generally speaking, summers tend to long and very hot, with winters being bitter cold and brutal. We recommend travel in either Spring (March to May) or Fall (September to early November). Travel is possible in any season, as long you are prepared for the weather. Winter tends to be the slow season for travel. Hotel accomodations can be hard to come by during public holidays like May Day (May 1) and National Day (October 1).
Major Airports in China
Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)
PEK opened in 1999, and has since become Asia's busiest airport in terms of passenger and air traffic. Additionally, it is ranked as the 2nd busiest airport in the world and in 2009 was voted by Conde Nast Traveler magazine as the World's Best Airport. PEK is located 32 km northeast of the center of the city, and is easily accessible via rail, bus, and car. There is also excellent inter-terminal transportation thanks to the free shuttles that transport passengers between the PEK's terminals. International airlines that fly into PEK are adundant with some of the bigger names being Air France, Air New Zealand, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Airlines, KLM and United Airlines.
Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG)
About 30 km from the city center, PVG is a main hub for China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Airlines. Additionally, it is a major international hub for Air China. The airport is organized around two main passenger terminals. Being that PVG is one of the three largest airports in China, there is a wide array of different international carriers operating to it's terminals including, Air Canada, Air France, Air New Zealand, American Airlines, British Airways, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Qantas, United Airlines and many more.
Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
HKG is the main airport in Hong Kong, and is a passenger hub and gateway for diestinations in Mainland China as well as the rest of Asia. Although it opened in 1998, HKG has won a total of 7 Skytrak World Airport Awards in customer service over the last 10 years. Currently, there are nearly 90 airlines operating flights to over 150 ciites across the globe. Some of those airlines include Air Canada, Air France, British Airways, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Qantas, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and many more.