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Colors, sites and sounds. Exotic smells. Noises. Cyclists. Shouting. Smiling. A scorchingly hot day. Construction sites. The feeling of things being recognizable and yet somehow entirely different. The feeling of seeing all this somewhere before, and yet experiencing for real for the first time and it being so much more than what you imagined. Looking at all around you and thinking, this just blows my mind.
Which country am I talking about? I’m talking about China. These are the impressions that knock you over when you first set foot on Chinese soil. We all have some kind of picture of this country in our mind, I guess. The typical historical architecture – those elegant, tiered roofs and the red walls of the Forbidden City in Beijing. Statues of interesting creatures and religious symbols. Food that you can’t always identify, and isn’t it true they eat cats and dogs over there? The ideas we have about China are just as influenced by clichés from film and general chatter as they are by a growing curiosity. Because China is changing and many experts are considering it to be the next big economic superpower. Have you seen market development statistics for China? The US is certainly keeping an eye on developments in the country that is known for being one of the earliest civilizations in the world.
If that isn’t already a reason to keep up with developments in this fascinating country, then the cultural history alone is worth it! And the tourist destinations. Think of visiting the terracotta warriors that guard the tomb of the Qin Dynasty – it’s an impressive sight! There’s something about their stillness that makes goose bumps erupt over your arms – it’s just the incredible silence that they radiate, and the sense of time and years and ancient history. There is just so much to find out about China, learning about the country can really become a life-long hobby. Forbidden City alone can take up days to discover if you really want to do it properly an really immerse yourself in the history of this particular place. But I’m only talking about Beijing here. Of course there is much more to see in China than just its capital. After all, there are other big cities, like Hong Kong and Shanghai, which are really exciting too. Particularly for shopping fans! There are villages and districts that might not be as frequented by tourists, but are still worth a closer look. Who knows, you might discover something really interesting and be the first to know about it! Wouldn’t that be cool?
Shopping was already mentioned once. Just think of all the souvenirs you could bring back home from China. The indescribable beauty and the century-old fame of real China silk, the color, the feel of it. Or those Chinese lanterns glowing in the dark. Typical Chinese dresses, bright and embroidered – you’ll definitely stand out at your next party. Besides, Oriental fashion gives you just that extra pep you might have needed in your wardrobe. But if you’re all about designer shopping, you won’t have a problem in China. Hugo Boss heads the list of luxury stores in China, with Burberry not far behind. Cartier is also available for that little something.
And if you’re travelling on a budget, find a market and go for it! Who knows what you will find there. China isn’t just the next big thing – it already is the big thing.