Anyone who saw the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics got a snapshot of the power and drama of China. Vast, complex, an amalgam of the ancient and the cutting edge, the country dazzles in both broad and subtle ways. You feel the pull of history within the walls of the Forbidden City, in the company of the Terracotta Warriors or atop the Great Wall but you also see where the country is heading with the towering, geometric skyscrapers and chic restaurants in Shanghai. Then there are scenic landscapes such as the misty mountains of Guilin, temples, art, whether the Buddhist frescoes in Lijang or the modern galleries in Beijing, culture, markets and banquets of regional culinary specialties. One trip there is never enough.