China – On the River Li (Photo: Bernd Thaller via Flickr)

China is our planet’s greatest human-made enigma. The oldest continuous civilization continuously adapts and evolves. The current political makeup is an unlikely combination of capitalism and communism. Despite the country’s social shortcomings, it is also a spearhead of progress and research. Despite the resolute desire to lead by dictatorship, China pioneers modern space exploration. Despite the heavily polluted, over-crowded cities, the country has the world’s highest afforestation rate. Cities also represent this paradoxical existence. Beijing is stuffed with relics of the past yet enjoys sleek public transport, Shanghai is an emblem of the country’s present wealth, while Lhasa serves as a reminder that progress in China is infrequently fair. For a country of such size, you may spend months travelling in China and only scratch the surface, not only geographically but philosophically too.