China is a land of immensity, where superlatives come thick and fast: the world's biggest population, its highest peak, Everest, and Asia's longest river, the 6,300-kilometre-long Yangtze, are all found here. There are fertile plains, mountain plateaux, arid deserts and bamboo forests, home to some of the last remaining giant pandas in the wild.
This is a land that has nurtured empires and witnessed great advances in science and the arts. It is also home to some of the finest sights in the whole of Asia, from the Terracotta Warriors and Tiger Leaping Gorge to the mesmerising cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, where the pace of change is perhaps more evident than anywhere else on the planet. "There lies a sleeping giant," said Napoleon of China. "Let him sleep! For when he wakes he will move the world."
Click on a place name below to find out more. Alternatively, to start planning where to go in China, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.
The Practical information displayed here is taken from The Traveller's Handbook, published by WEXAS (2009). While all possible care was taken to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, we are aware that situations change, so for the latest information and up-to-date visa requirements, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.
Great diversity of climates. The north-east has hot, dry summers and bitterly cold winters. The north and central region has almost continuous rainfall, hot summers and cold winters. The south-east has substantial rainfall, semi-tropical summers and cool winters.
Most festivals follow the Chinese lunar calendar. The Spring Festival is celebrated during the first two weeks of the new lunar year. March sees the celebration of Guanyin's birthday, China's most popular deity. Mid-April is time for the Water Splashing Festival in Yunnan Province. The Dragon-boat Festival, where races are held in memory of Qu Yuan, a poet who drowned himself in 280 BC, takes place in June or July. The Moon Festival is held in September or October, a time for family reunion.
Diverse regional styles. In the north, Mongolian Hotpots are popular, eaten in a communal style from a pot of simmering soup. Beijing is famous for Peking Duck. Southern cuisine is probably the most exotic - markets in Guangzhou are full of the various (sometimes endangered) animals used. The east is noted for rich, sweet cooking, seafood, hot and sour soup, noodles and vegetables. In the west, spicy, peppery food is a speciality.
Generally reserved in manner, be courteous. If applauded as a welcome, applaud back. Anger should be concealed. Arrive to meetings early. Bring gifts when invited into homes.
Beijing-Capital (PEK), 26 km from the city, Guangzhou Baiyun (CAN) 7 km from the city, Shanghai Hong Quio (SHA) 12 km from the city, Shanghai-Pudong (PVG), 30 km from the city Chengdu Shuangliu (CTU) 16 km from the city.
Most long-distance internal travel is by air. Ferries serve major rivers. Railways are the principal means of transport for people and goods. Eighty per cent of settlements can be reached by road. These are not always of good quality, and vehicles should be reliable as mechanical services are few. Car hire is available.
The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in China. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.
The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in China. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in China, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.
Lucy Skelton - Asia Specialist
To make an enquiry or to start planning your trip talk to our team of specialists on 020 7590 0613