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Destinations in China
At its heart, the Forbidden City marks the historic nerve centre of imperial China, but the glossy skyscrapers, thriving street markets and buzzing bar and restaurant scene surrounding it cement Beijing's status as a thoroughly modern metropolis.
Boats gliding across lotus-flecked lakes, graceful tea ceremonies, the rattle of mahjong tiles… Chengdu, China’s fourth-largest city, remains its most cool-headed, even as high rises fill the skyline. Foodie-luring Sichuan cuisine adds plenty of spice.
One of the seven ancient capitals of China, the bustling city of Hangzhou has the best of city and country; a lively business and finance area knocks at the door to the willow-lined banks and lush greenery of the infamous West Lake district.
Full of colour and teeming with life, Hong Kong is a modern Asian metropolis known for its incredible efficiency, its vibrant shopping and its world-beating cuisine. While it does deserve the reputation, dig a little deeper and you find there’s much more going on beneath the surface.
Black Dragon Lake, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain: Lijiang’s just as magical as its poetic place names suggest.
Skyscrapers, shopping and sensuality: this is Shanghai’s decade, and it wants to make sure you know it.
Served on a stick, or sipped from a steaming bowl, Hong Kong’s cuisine rewards the brave. We dare you to steel your tastebuds and dive in.
What’s cooking? Warming congee, yak’s milk cheesecake, fat noodles and sticky char siu – Hong Kong is a bubbling and boiling, scent-swarmed hotchpotch of tastes and textures.
• Hidden within the visceral melee of Gage Street wet market, Lan Fong Yuen is a historic reassuringly shambolic spot for a restorative cup of silk-stocking milk tea – a pungent concoction that’s achieved city-wide fame.
• Causeway Bay is threaded through with Dai Pai Dong eateries. Ho Hung Kee is one of our favourites; here fish, chicken or 100-year old eggs can be added to your congee (Chinese porridge).
• Yan Wo Dou Bun Chong’s modus operandi is extraordinarily well-executed tofu dishes; in fact, it’s the only thing on the menu, but their tofu fa pudding finds perfection in simplicity.
Stay at within walking distance of authentic eateries and markets – and the home of Hong Kong hot spot Café Gray Deluxe – The Upper House will keep connoisseurs happily sated.