North China

Encounter parts of the Great Wall, visit very large cities and get a sense of the extraordinary culture in the birthplace of Chinese civilization.

North China comprises the traditional regions around the Yellow River. Empires have risen and fallen here, creating a rich tapestry of history that can be traced with a trip through the land of Genghis Khan and other past figures. Get a sense of local culture and traditions in the capital city of Beijing and explore the surrounding countryside.

The sprawling capital city is home to more than 20 million inhabitants. Visit the historic center, which is divided into several sections packed with fascinating sites. Enter the Forbidden City and visit iconic Tiananmen Square. Try dumplings, roast duck and noodles from the restaurants on the commercial avenue of Wangfujing Street in Dongcheng. Sample Baijiu, a wine-like alcoholic beverage.

Travel to the outskirts of the city, where you’ll find the neighborhood of Xicheng. The district is known for its political institutions. Snap photos of the spectacular dome-like building of the National Centre for the Performing Arts.

Many districts in North China contain parts of the Great Wall. Take the Beyond the Great Wall tour in Datong and admire the picturesque views of the hilly countryside. See the impressive Huayan Temple that lies near a gate in the wall here. A little south are the Longmen Grottoes of Luoyang, with tens of thousands of Buddha statues.

Continue south to Pingyao, which is known for its preserved walled city. Stroll along the quaint cobbled lanes and glimpse the local customs.

Note that most people here speak Mandarin, even if it isn’t their first language. The region of North China shares a border with Mongolia in the Far East. The enormous swath of land comprises many provinces, including Inner Mongolia, Hebei and Shanxi. Fly to the airports of the main cities and get around the area with domestic flights and high-speed trains.

North China is a vast and enigmatic region with an intricate history and fascinating sights.