China is an ancient land on a breathtaking scale. The sheer sweep of geography, history, cultures, cuisine, is enough to tempt even the most accomplished traveler to return. Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, and Hong Kong are on the main tourist trail. But venture further afield and you will be rewarded. Tibet's monasteries, Chengdu pandas, Guilin's Li River cruise through karst peaks, Yunnan's alpine kingdoms, cave buddhas of Datong, preserved city of Pingyao, Yangtze river, the western desert cities of the Silk Road - all have unique appeal. A land that is particularly suited to private guide and vehicle.