A nation on the march
A cruise to China offers a phenomenal to discover China, a splendidly diverse country in its geographic, ethnic, culinary and social make-up.
Developing at a rate unmatched in human history, already huge cities are adding sprawling suburbs and cutting-edge architecture on a day-by-day basis, even as an ever-expanding web of high-speed rail ties the country together. Nevertheless, this apparent modernity is based on a civilization that has remained intact, continually recycling itself, for over four millennia.
Indeed, it is the tension and contrasts between change and continuity that make modern China so fascinating. Dominating China’s east coast near the mouth of the Yangzi, Shanghai is the mainland’s most Westernized city, a booming port where the Art Deco monuments of the old European-built Bund – the riverside business centre – rub shoulders with a hyper-modern metropolis, crowned with two of the world’s tallest skyscrapers.
It’s interesting to contrast Shanghai’s cityscape with that of rival business hub Hong Kong’s south coast. With its colonial heritage and refreshingly cosmopolitan outlook, there’s almost nothing Hong Kong cannot offer to an MSC Grand Voyages cruiser in the way of tourist facilities, from fine beaches to great eating and drinking.