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China Tourism

Continent: Asia

Ideal Duration: 10 - 14 days

Best Time: March - April (Spring), September - October (Autumn) Read More

Currency: Renminbi Yuan (CNY)

Budget: Moderate

"China: A Land of Mysteries and Beyond "

China Tourism

China or officially known as the People’s Republic of China is a country nestled in Eastern Asia housing world’s largest and about one-fifth of the population. The country is one of the world’s four great ancient civilisations dazzling world with its deep-rooted culture, classic cuisine, kung fu, fine silk, pagodas, paintings, porcelains, Ming vases and tea. China never failed to amuse the people around the world with their key attractions including the Great Wall of China, Terracotta Warriors and the Forbidden City. The land of philosopher Confucius,  Mao Zedung and pandas, China is a place buzzing with astounding energy that adds to its charm.

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Regions in China

China is chiefly divided into thirty-one provinces and seven regions, each region featuring its own speciality. The Northeast China cradles vast forests with snowy winter exhibiting Japanese, Russian and Korean influence; North China is the heart of Chinas civilisation and includes the Yellow River Basin area. Northwest China is a land of deserts, grasslands, mountains, Islam, nomadic people and the countrys capital for 1000 years; Southwest China and South-central China holds the minority of the nation and represents the farming areas of China respectively. Where the Southeast China is the manufacturing hub and trading centre, East China houses the countrys new cosmopolitan economic centre and is known as land of fish and rice.

Best time to visit China

March - April (Spring), September - October (Autumn) is the best time to visit China

The best time to visit China is during Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to October). China is a vast country with a diverse climate. The Spring and Fall seasons offer incredibly mild weather conditions in most parts of the country. South China experiences humid summers, with temperatures approaching 40 degrees Celsius in some regions. The south-east coast of the country faces typhoon season in July and September. Central China has long, humid summers and short, chilly winters. Historical and cultural destinations like Shanghai, Beijing and Xi’an are not affected much by changes in the weather. They are suitable destinations to visit at any time of the year. Overall, spring and fall are the best time to visit as these months also constitute the offseason for domestic tourism.

Photos of China

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Ancient history. Robust culture and heritage. Panoramic landscape. Traditional food. Astounding Architecture.

What's Not So Great?

Overcrowded cities. Pollution, especially in Beijing. Foreigners are overcharged for almost everything. Poor internet access: no access to Google.

For Whom?

Culture and heritage lovers. Those who enjoy architecture. Shopping buffs. People crazy for food.

Stay options in China

China is full of accommodation options with hotels spread all across the urban part of the country offering the presence of big names in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and further budding in Shenzhen and Guangzhou. One will find high-end names such as Mandarin Oriental and Shangri-La. Other than that, there are good low-budget hotels to highly luxurious ones.Another option of accommodation is renting an apartment, but it can be quite far from the main cities or city centre. Currently with growing inflow of budget travellers to China, one will hardly find any tourist areas without a hostel ranging from poor to adequate. Beijing, Guangdong, Guangxi, Shanghai and Yunnan are the major cities offering good hostel facilities. For those looking for an extra luxurious stay in the country, there are stylish properties in traditional architectural style and also a unique option of mega casino resorts situated along Cotai Strip.

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Currency of China

Renminbi Yuan or Yuan is the official currency of China, and the only currency accepted there. Its notes are available in the denomination of CNY 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100. Beware of CNY 50 and 100 notes counterfeit, which are quite common. In the major provincial cities and designated establishments, credit cards including MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club are easily accepted. However, as you move away from the major cities, cards are not likely to be accepted. The economy shifts to cash based, thus it is advised to carry cash.

Exchanging Money in China

Chinese Yuan can be exchanged outside China, although chiefly in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. For currency exchange within the country, it can be dome at the airport or at the branches of The Bank of China, where one can also get their foreign banknotes, and traveller's cheques exchanged. Tourists can, however, buy imported luxury items such as alcohol with western currency as well. Northern Irish and Scottish currency cannot be exchanged in the country. One can locate ATMs at airports, hotels, banks, shopping centres in any other major town and city.

Nightlife in China

China offers excellent nightlife when it comes to the major cities Beijing and Shanghai with live music, pulsating beats, laid-back cafes, a variety of international restaurants, bars, nightclubs and cocktail lounges packed until the wee hours. To get the authentic taste of Chinese culture, travellers can try Chinese opera, circus, ballet and theatre in the big cities. However, beyond the cosmopolitan cities, the nightlife changes drastically offering karaoke parlours, gaming halls, and restaurants where crowd comes together to enjoy snooker, mah-jong and play cards. With increasing number of bars at international hotels, it comes up with yet another option but usually, it tends to be quite expensive. Areas with strong ethnic minority groups such as Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi and Sichuan offer traditional local music and dancing for visitors. If travelling to countryside, expect your nightlife restricted to routine card playing, drinking, celebrating special occasions or traditional dances.

Shopping in China

Shopping in China is an amazing experience especially if you are visiting the major cities including Beijing and Shanghai. Tourists will find huge stores that house everything fancy from trendy fashion to high-tech electronics. Usually, there will be an English-speaking assistant to assist you in the stores. Try out Nanjing Road in Shanghai or Beijing's Wangfujing for best buy. Taikang Lu in Shanghai and Nanluoguxiang in Beijing offer local designer boutiques well worth a visit. The panjiayuan market of Beijing is 7-days open and is a fascinating place, to begin with. China is known for its antiques and retro curios. One should visit Dongtai Lu in Shanghai, which houses a famous street market. For handicrafts and art, one can go shopping direct from shops at local factories. Except for the bid stores, no matter where you are shopping, haggling is a must. Make sure to be polite while bargaining and remember to smile and be respectful. Lookout for products including jade, antique ceramics, local handicrafts, silk garments, jewellery, embroidery, calligraphy, paintings and carvings in wood, stone and bamboo. In the caseÊof 100 years old antiques, authorities mark them with red wax seal and require an export customs certificate. Be careful to keep all the receipt as a visitor might be asked to procure while at customs before departure.

Festivals of China

The festivals in China are family affair illuminating light upon their culture. The Chinese New year, also referred to as the Spring Festival is one of the most celebrated events of the year. This festival begins with religious ceremonies, sacrifices and rituals with the purpose of uniting the living members with dead ancestors, founding fathers of the family and venerable elders. Festival of Lanterns is last part of this festival, which sees the colourful street procession. The grand parade is joined by men, women and children each one carrying beautiful lanterns following an enormous dragon. The celebration carries on with illustrious crackers and fireworks.

History of China

The history of this country has swindled between the periods of dissension and periods of great national unity. China stood united for the first time under the rule of the Qin Dynasty in 3rd century BC, who also initiated the first stretches of the Great Wall. The seat of power shifted to less controlling Han Dynasty for four centuries. The period followed with bitter internal clashes with the last dynasty; the QinÊcontinued until 1911 when finally Sun Yat-sen found the Republic of China. China went through eight years of brutal time after Japan attacked in 1937. With their withdrawal, a civil war started between Mao Zedongs communists and nationalists. The victorious communist party then founded the Peoples Republic of China in 1949 giving way to the Cultural Revolution along with currently ongoing occupation of Tibet. With much turbulence over the years and political reform, China continued to become an economic powerhouse but yet a tightly controlled economy.

Hygiene in China

Hygiene standards in China vary from region to region and place to place. Medical services are offered through private clinics and local hospitals however once again rules may vary. Tourists are advised to have travel insurance that covers the medical cost. It is also recommended for travellers to get a vaccination for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis, Rabies, Typhoid fever and Japanese B encephalitis. There are reports of occasional outburst of dengue fever. Use bottled water for drinking; tap water is not fit for the use. Be careful while consuming street food.

Customs of China

Chinese are very curious people and if you find yourself being followed by few, do not be offended as visitors are rare especially in the remote area. While referring to the country formally, use the complete name of the county as the Peoples Republic of China. Try not to make any scene or heated arguments in public as it is frowned upon. ÊIn China, the family name is mentionedÊbefore the name. Also, locals take punctuality very seriously. ÊIf you are using chopsticks, do not place them upright in your bowl as it signifies death. Dress conservatively while visiting outside the main cities. However, the big cities accept casual wear. Avoid expressing any political or eve religious opinions. Photography in public areas or historical places is allowed but ask for permission before photographing military based areas, government building or other such sensitive subjects. Tipping is not necessary, but it's nice to tip around CYN 5 - 30 at restaurants and hotels, CNY 10 - 70 to tour guides and drivers. Taxi drivers do not expect any tips.

Tips for visiting China

Beware of teahouse scam, especially in Beijing and Shanghai, which is a major safety concern for foreigners. In this case, a local approaches traveller on the pretext of showing around, take them to a teahouse,Êand tend to overcharge for each cup of tea, each biscuit or slice of fruit cake. Make sure not to pay and dial 110, if you have a slightÊsuspicion of foul play. ÊTraffic in China is nerve wrecking, so be careful while crossing roads or driving a vehicle.Pollution in the big cities of China such as Beijing is a serious problem. Carry masks to be on safer side. ÊAs a foreigner, you tend to be overcharged for most of the things, so make sure to bargain before buying. Price may cut down more than 50 per cent. Carry a first aid kit and general medicines along with personal sanitation. ÊIf you are a vegetarian, you might face difficulty in finding food for yourself. ÊFew Buddhist restaurants serve complete vegetarian food but are present in few cities only. Lastly, brush up your basic Chinese to overcome the language barrier, it will make your trip more enjoyable.

Culture of China

China like most of other Asian countries is deep-rooted with its ancient culture. The country has a community-based culture and a strong family system. Arts, crafts, dance, music, philosophy and feng-shui also form the base of rich Chinese culture. Chinese society, in general, is rather secular and is officially an atheist country. Other religions such as Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism are followed and well tolerated in the country. The official language of China isÊMandarin Chinese. However, there are a plethora of other local dialects spoken all over the country including Shanghainese, Hokkien-Taiwanese, Xiang, Fuzhou, Gan and Hakka dialects in the south and mMany hotels also understand these languages.ÊA lot of guides and interpreters are available who speak English. ÊMany hotels also understand English, but taxi drivers, even in the big cities do not understand the language. Common Mandarin phrasesÊare:ÊWelcome: Huanying guanglinHello: Ni hao Thank you: Xiexie (pronounced as shi shi) Sorry: Duibuqi Please: Mafanni

Food of China

Rice, either in the form of grains or noodles forms the staple diet of China. Wheat is also often used as noodles or bread. With poverty widespread across the nation, meat, especially in rural areas, is not affordable; therefore, plenty of vegetables, bean curd and the like are used to fill out dishes. Milk and dairy products are tagged as childrens food and seldom used by adults. Another important feature of Chinese cuisine is its unique flavours owed to the extreme use of famous five-spice powder wine, soybean and black bean sauce. Chinese food differs from region to region with northern dishes usually based on wheat; coastal China includes the rice-vegetable-and-seafood diets whereas the spicy and the chilly-hot cuisine is of Szechwan. If you are high on trying some bizarre food, then the place has bears paws, sharks fin, thousand year eggs and birds nest.


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