Email This Page to a Friend!


Your Name:
Your Email Address:
Your Friend's Name:
Your Friend's Email Address:
Your Message:

Send me a copy of this email.
Please Email Me Exclusive Travel Deals Every Week

Privacy Policy



A Closer Look at a Distant Empire: China Revealed

September 17, 2015

We hear about the enormity of China all the time, with its 3.7 million square miles, 1.3 billion people, and 56 ethnic groups speaking 292 dialects. China's sweeping size and complexity can make it seem mysterious, even daunting, to outsiders. But in a time when its doors are more open than ever to travelers, it would be a shame to miss out on what is arguably the world's most epic land. Gate 1 strips away the mystery, showing you its more intimate side as we immerse you in the landscapes, neighborhoods, and treasures of which the Chinese people are most proud. From monuments to marketplaces, Gate 1 introduces you to China's diverse offerings up close.

The staggering Three Gorges of the Yangtze River ... lush jade-green bamboo forests ... sprawling Imperial Cities with inviting lanes that are 2,000 years old. These are just a few of the wonders in a nation that boasts 48 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the most of any country in Asia. A single Gate 1 journey can unveil the myriad ways in which China lives up to its nickname, "The Beautiful Country."

Past, President, and Future: Three Cities
To gain an understanding of how China's past, present, and future are interwoven, a good place to begin - or three good places - would be its dominant cities: Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, each of which has its own character and story to tell.

Beijing is monumental, literally. The city is home to 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (just one shy of the number found in all of Egypt), among them some of the world's greatest treasures. The Forbidden City is forbidden to none these days: after 500 years of turning guests away from the world's largest palace complex, China now invites all to see the wonders of the stunning 178-acre complex encircled by two miles of fortified wall. Over time, 24 emperors lived in these 90 palaces, composed of 980 buildings and almost 9,000 rooms.

The little sibling to that royal complex is the Summer Palace, built for the hottest months when the Forbidden City complex felt too stifling. A small pond and reservoir were joined, widened, and dredged, yielding a sparkling 540-acre lake big enough for royal navy vessels to run drills upon. The soil from the lake was used to make the adjacent Longevity Hill, a 200-foot slope crowned with palaces, pavilions, temples and gardens. To this day, it remains, as intended, one of Beijing's loveliest locales, a brilliant collaboration of man, nature and time.

Whereas Beijing calls to mind the glories of the past, Shanghai is decidedly a snapshot of the future. While the city is certainly known for its gems that date back to previous eras - such as the verdant Yuyuan Garden from the Ming Dynasty and the elegant colonial architecture of the Bund - it is Shanghai's jaw-dropping new skyline that may leave you gasping with awe.

Viewed across the Huangpu River, the Pudong neighborhood boasts a dizzying array of striking, colorful towers. Shanghai Tower, the biggest of the lot, is the second tallest skyscraper on earth. But height is only one way that this metropolis dazzles: the Orient Pearl looks like a stacking toy of ever-smaller glass beads, while the sinuous Financial Center is a modernist masterwork; even the low-slung Ocean Aquarium impresses passers-by with its flamboyant shark-fin wings.

Read More

china Deals

$999 from $899*
10 Day Shanghai & Beijing
Save $100 with promo CTSB100
$1589 from $1399*
11 Day Affordable China with 4 Day Yangtze River Cruise
Save $190 with promo CTAFCNY190
$2319 from $1999*
14 Day China with 4 Day Yangtze River Cruise
Save $320 with promo CTCNYR320
$3029 from $2799*
China & Tibet Discovery
Save $230 with promo CTCNTB230
All prices are per person based on twin occupancy. Prices are valid as of September 17, 2015 and subject to change without notice. Not valid on existing reservations.
Book by October 1, 2015. Not valid on existing reservations.


Check out these #gate1travel photos from past travelers. After your trip, come back and share some of your own!