Overview of China

 

For millennia, China has seen the world come to its doorstep seeking trade and knowledge. Yet even as its thriving economy propels it toward the centre of the world stage, and the People’s Republic once again opens its doors to Western tourists, many visitors still find it hard to penetrate the inner depths of this fascinating and enigmatic nation.

China is huge: the third largest country in the world territorially. It is also the world's most populous country, with more than 1.3 billion citizens. It is no surprise, then, that there is such a diverse cultural mix waiting to greet visitors.

For many, however, it is China’s cascading history and wealth of astonishing antiquities that make it so attractive as a travel destination. There are ruins and relics from Neolithic settlements, treasures from the dynastic reigns of the mighty emperors to be enjoyed, and many adventures to be experienced along the legendary ancient trade routes of the Silk Road. The Forbidden Palace, the Great Wall and the Terracotta Army of Xi’an are just some of the iconic sights that beckon.

Organised tours are still the favoured way to explore China, but independent travel is slowly becoming easier. Our business travel agency for China can arrange your itinerary if you are visiting on business whilst our bespoke Travel Managers will ensure your sightseeing is meticulously planned and matched to your interests and budget.

The major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai are modern metropolises offering fast food and impressively stocked department stores alongside their historic buildings and traditional eating houses.

In the interior, many archaeological wonders, majestic mountains, remote monasteries, traditional temples, incredible landscapes and fascinating festivals await your discovery.

China is a year-round destination, though many travellers choose to visit in autumn or spring in order to catch the most clement weather conditions. You are best advised to avoid Chinese New Year in late January/early February as much of the country shuts down for a week, public transport is completely booked up, and general mayhem ensues!

Climate

China covers a vast area of central and eastern Asia, so its weather differs greatly from region to region. The southeast, below the Nanling Mountains, tends to be very wet with high temperatures all year round: summers average over 30 degrees Celsius (8 degrees Fahrenheit), while winter temperatures are mild with lows of around 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) in January and February. In the central Yangtze and Huaihe River valleys there are four distinct seasons with very hot summers and extremely cold winters, but some rain can be expected all year round. The dry north experiences a short but sunny summer, with a long and bitterly cold winter. Average summer temperatures in Beijing are around 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) but winters average only a few degrees above freezing. The coast is relatively humid, and there are monsoons during summer.

Language

The official language is Mandarin Chinese, but there are hundreds of local dialects and languages spoken.

Passport Visa

You should obtain a visa prior to arrival and have a passport with at least six months' validity remaining. You will need onward or return tickets and proof of sufficient funds to cover your intended period of stay. Your visit to China must not exceed the stated duration of your stay.

If you hold an APEC Business Travel Card you do not require a visa, provided that it is valid for China. Any travel to Tibet will require a special Tibet Entry Permit.

Please check the rules around visa requirements before you travel, as they may change regularly.

Safety

China is generally safe but usual precautions should be observed.

Seasonal heavy rains and typhoons cause hundreds of deaths in China each year, particularly in areas bordering the Yangtze River in central, southern and western China.

Tibet remains politically sensitive so visitors are advised to stay up to date on the latest situation before travel.

Our Services

For all your high-end, bespoke leisure and corporate travel needs to China, contact our Travel Managers on 0203 535 9290 or info@simplexitytravel.com today.

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