China is one of the oldest and most ancient cultures in the world. For nearly 5,000 years, since the Xia Dynasty, China has been a major player on the international scale. It has influenced the world in numerous ways and will continue to do so. What this means for us as travelers, is that is a place with tremendous sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and excitement! With so much to see and a lot of ground to cover it’s hard to prioritize what to see on your family vacation. China can be a great place for multigenerational families with a great mix of culture and excitement. Families with teens can also have an age appropriate adventure in China. This is a great culture for teens to embed themselves in. They will undoubtedly begin comparing their life growing up to what they see in China. We promise this will be fascinating for them and for you to watch! Cultivating this experience for teens, younger kids, or yourself, can be overwhelming when looking at all that China has to offer. Here are five things that you shouldn’t miss.
This form of entertainment is almost as old as China itself. It dates back to 4,000 years ago and its popularity exploded around 2,500 years ago. The acrobatic shows in Beijing will look similar to Cirque du Soleil, but will be much different. You’ll experience traditional lion dancing, stunning cycling acts, fire stunts, and contortionists among much more amazing feats that will leave your family in awe.
This is the largest public square in the world. Now four times its original size, Tiananmen Square was originally constructed in the 15th Century. Since then, it has been a place for celebration and expression. In the square you can find the Monument to the People’s House, the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, the Tiananmen Tower, the National Museum and the gate to the Forbidden City.
T’ai Chi Class
This ancient Chinese martial art is known for teaching graceful movements that have major health benefits for its practitioners. Take a T’ai Chi lesson in its most basic form, focusing on spiritual and mental strength. Your family will find it calming and peaceful while learning this meditative martial art from a T’ai Chi master.
This is one of the most fascinating cities in China. Shanghai has one of the most distinct and recognized skylines in the world. It has fully embraced architectural advancement and creativity. Walking around this economic epicenter gives unlimited people watching opportunities, lessons in culture, and a window into a futuristic city within an ancient country. Walk around the city, take a boat ride down the main river, and explore the many international neighborhoods in the Huangpu waterfront area.
The cormorant is a type of bird that has traditionally been trained to catch fish. Li River fisherman will start to train these birds at just six months old. In the evening they will take the grown birds out onto the river to help them catch fish to sell the next day. It’s unique to watch man and bird work together to catch fish. This traditional fishing technique is definitely something to see!