Uncovering authentic local finds and having experiences that make you feel like you’ve really connected with a place are important elements in ensuring an extraordinary vacation. We’re taking advantage of our partnership with Travel + Leisure to get their editors’ recommendations and insider tips on the places you will want to visit. Here are their picks for just one of the 150 destinations they covered.
The Great Wall
This structural-engineering marvel stretches across more than 4,000 miles of northern China and is one of the must-see attractions of the vast country. The crowds at the Badaling section can be fierce, so take the cable car from the visitors’ center (one hour north of the city) and walk as far as your feet will take you for a spot of privacy and an epic view from the hilltop forts.
This beautifully preserved walled compound of buildings, courtyards, and pathways, once considered the center of the universe, dates back to the 15th century. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the city was entered and exited only with permission from the emperor; today, it’s a museum open to anyone. Take the self-guided audio tour and wander the complex for hours without ever repeating a step.
Temple of Heaven
The Taoist temple where Ming and Qing dynasty emperors once prayed for good harvests was built in the 16th century according to the precepts of numerology. Closed to commoners until 1912, the temple is today open to strollers, who marvel at its soaring columns, carved statuary, and brilliantly painted ceilings. Linger in the temple’s main Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest—built with such intricately interlocking pieces of wood that no nails were used in its construction.
Be sure to visit our Shore Excursions page or speak with our onboard Destination Concierge for arrangements to any of these must-sees.