China defies easy categorization. A nation of more than 1.3 billion people, stretching from the barren Taklamakan desert in the west to the booming metropolis of Shanghai in the east, it’s ultramodern and deeply traditional. Getting to know it can take a lifetime, making it a source of endless fascination for explorers and adventurers down the years. Delve into the culture clash of imperial and communist China in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, bordered by the Forbidden City and Mao’s Mausoleum; marvel at the towering limestone mountains of Guilin; and be stunned by the archaeologically arresting Terracotta Army in Xian. China’s joy lies in its scope for endless discovery.