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Location:Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
Currency:Renminbi yuan (RMB)
Area:9,596,960 sq km
Population:1,397,897,720 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official; Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry); note - Zhuang is official in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is official in Guangdong, Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, Kyrgyz is official in Xinjiang Uygur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)
Religion:folk religion 21.9%, Buddhist 18.3%, Christian 5.2%, Muslim 2%, Hindu < 0.1%, Jewish <0.1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 51.8% (2020 est.)
Things to Do
1. Great Wall of China
Visit one of the most renowned architectural wonders and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Stretching over 13,000 miles, the Great Wall of China offers breathtaking views and a glimpse into the country's rich history.
2. Forbidden City
Explore the Forbidden City, a 15th-century imperial palace complex in Beijing. With over 980 buildings and a vast collection of artifacts, it offers a fascinating insight into China's imperial past.
3. Terracotta Army
Visit the Terracotta Army, a collection of life-size sculptures representing the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. This archaeological site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see for history enthusiasts.
4. The Bund
Stroll along the iconic waterfront promenade in Shanghai known as The Bund. Admire the stunning skyline of modern skyscrapers and historic buildings, offering a captivating blend of the past and the present.
5. Potala Palace
Experience the grandeur of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas and is a significant cultural and religious symbol in Tibetan Buddhism.
6. Yellow Mountain
Hike the breathtaking Yellow Mountain (Huangshan), known for its rugged granite peaks, hot springs, and ancient pine trees. It offers breathtaking views at sunrise and is a popular destination for nature lovers.
7. Li River Cruise
Embark on a scenic Li River cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo. Marvel at the dramatic karst landscape, with limestone peaks rising from the clear waters. It is a popular activity for capturing stunning natural scenery.
8. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Explore the otherworldly landscapes of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, featuring towering sandstone pillars, lush vegetation, and breathtaking views. This UNESCO World Heritage Site inspired the floating mountains in the movie 'Avatar'.
9. Jiuzhaigou Valley
Discover the stunning natural beauty of Jiuzhaigou Valley, known for its UNESCO-listed national park with colorful lakes, waterfalls, and snow-capped peaks. It is a paradise for photographers and nature enthusiasts.
10. Mount Everest Base Camp
Embark on an adventurous journey to the Mount Everest Base Camp in Tibet. Enjoy panoramic views of the world's highest peak and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring Himalayan scenery.
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Volunteering with Pandas in rural China
Climate in China
China has a diverse climate, with temperatures and weather patterns varying greatly depending on the region and time of year. Generally, northern China has a continental climate with cold winters and hot summers, while southern China has a subtropical climate with mild winters and hot summers. Central China has a more moderate climate, with warm summers and cool winters.
Best Time to Visit China
The best time to visit China depends on the specific destination and the type of weather you prefer. Generally, the most comfortable time to visit northern China is in the spring or fall, when temperatures are mild and the landscape is most scenic. Southern China is best visited in the winter or early spring, when temperatures are mild and there is less humidity. Central China is best visited in the spring or fall when temperatures are most comfortable.
If you want to see the cherry blossoms, the best time to visit is spring, specifically April to May. If you want to see the famous terracotta army, Xi'an is best visited in autumn, specifically September to November. The Yellow Mountain is also best visited in autumn as the weather is clear and the leaves are changing colors.
It's important to note that some of the popular tourist destinations in China, such as the Great Wall of China, can be very crowded during peak tourist season. If you're looking to avoid crowds, consider visiting China during the off-season, which is typically from November to February.
China has a wide variety of hotels to suit all budgets, from luxury five-star hotels to budget-friendly hostels. The major cities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, have many international hotel chains, as well as local hotels. In smaller cities and rural areas, there may be fewer hotel options, but you can still find comfortable accommodations.
Another popular accommodation option in China are serviced apartments. These are typically fully-furnished apartments that come with amenities such as a kitchen, living room, and laundry facilities. Serviced apartments are a good option for travelers who are staying in China for an extended period of time or for families who want more space than a hotel room can offer.
For a more authentic Chinese experience, you can consider staying in a homestay. Homestays are typically family-run accommodations where you can live with a local family and experience their culture and way of life. This type of accommodation is becoming more popular in China, especially in rural areas and small towns.
For budget-conscious travelers, hostels are a good option. Hostels in China offer basic accommodation at a low price. They are mostly found in major cities and popular tourist destinations. Some hostels provide shared dormitory rooms, while others offer private rooms.
Airbnb is becoming increasingly popular in China, especially in urban areas. You can find a wide variety of options, from apartments and private rooms to entire homes. The prices vary depending on the location and the type of accommodation.
In conclusion, China offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. Whether you're looking for a luxury hotel, a serviced apartment, a homestay, a hostel or an Airbnb, you'll find something that fits your needs. It's worth noting that during peak tourist seasons, it is recommended to book in advance as the places may fill up fast.
Air travel is the most popular and convenient way to travel within China. The country has a well-developed domestic air network with flights to most major cities and tourist destinations. There are several major airlines in China, such as Air China, China Eastern, and China Southern, as well as several budget airlines, including Spring Airlines and Lucky Air.
China has a extensive high-speed train network, known as the "bullet train," which connects many major cities and tourist destinations. The trains are fast, efficient, and comfortable, and they offer a great way to see the country while avoiding traffic and long travel times.
Buses are a popular and inexpensive way to travel within China, especially for shorter distances. Many cities and towns have bus stations with regular service to nearby destinations. The buses are usually comfortable and have air conditioning. However, in case of long-distance travel, it might be less comfortable than trains.
Taxis are widely available in China's major cities and towns and are a convenient way to get around. They are relatively inexpensive and a good option for short trips. It's worth noting that many taxi drivers do not speak English, so it's a good idea to have your destination written in Chinese.
Bicycles and Scooters
In some cities, particularly smaller ones and tourist destinations, renting a bicycle or electric scooter can be a fun and environmentally friendly way to explore. It's a great way to get around and to experience the local culture.
In some places, particularly in smaller cities and towns, you might find rickshaws. They are a traditional form of transportation, typically used for short distances. They are an interesting way to experience the local culture and to move around.
In conclusion, China offers a variety of transportation options for travelers. The most convenient and popular way to travel within China is by air, high-speed train, and bus. Taxis and bikes/scooters are also widely available for shorter distances and for more immersive experiences, and rickshaws are a traditional way to get around in some places. It's worth noting that while some of the public transportation options are widely available, they may not always be the most comfortable, especially during peak tourist season.
- The currency in China is the Chinese yuan (CNY).
Cash And Cards
- Cash is widely used in China, especially in rural areas. Credit cards are accepted in major cities and tourist destinations, but it's always a good idea to carry some cash.
- It's recommended to notify your bank prior to your trip to China to avoid any issues with your credit or debit card.
- ATMs are widely available in China, especially in cities. However, it's always a good idea to carry some cash as backup, as not all establishments accept cards.
- Tipping is not expected or common practice in China, especially in local restaurants and taxis. However, in high-end hotels and restaurants, a service charge may be included in the bill.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in China can vary depending on the city or region. Generally, major cities like Beijing and Shanghai are more expensive compared to smaller cities and rural areas.
- Accommodation and transportation expenses can be higher in major cities.
- Be cautious of scams targeting tourists in crowded tourist areas. Common scams include tea house scams, fake jade scams, and fake art scams. It's important to be aware of your surroundings and avoid giving money to strangers.