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China

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 and can be seen on a holiday in China. 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. A China holiday also gives you the chance to see 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." Take a tailor-made China holiday to see this slumbering giant for yourself.


WEXAS Travel brochure for China

China, Japan & South East Asia

Our in depth guide packed with background information, sample itineraries designed by our experts and hand-picked suggestions for what to see and do, where to stay and when best to go.


When to go

Spring and autumn are generally the best times to visit. The summer months can be wet and humid, especially in southern and central areas. Winters can be bitterly cold, particularly in the north, west and Tibet, but there are fewer tourists and the Great Wall and other attractions look beautiful in the snow.

JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
 BEST TIME
 GOOD TIME
 SOME LIMITATIONS

Essential Experiences

We’ve rounded up our list of recommended sites and things to do. Click on the map to enlarge it and see what we suggest or follow the links in the list to discover how to get the best out of your holiday.


Practical Information

Capital: Beijing.

Size: 9,596,960 sq km

Language: Mandarin Chinese is the official language. Large groups speak Cantonese, Shanghainese, Fuzhou and Taiwanese, while regional languages include Mongolian, Uighur and Tibetan.

Population: 1.344 billion

Religion: The People's Republic is officially atheist, but Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity are widely practiced. There are around 100 million Buddhists, 60 million Muslims and 10 million Christians. Confucianism is also firmly embedded in the nation's psyche.

Currency: Renminbi (CNY; symbol ¥), meaning ‘the people's currency' is the official name of China's currency.

Time zone: GMT +8 hours. Despite being a vast country that geographically covers several time zones, China uses a single time zone, China Standard Time, year-round.

Flight time: Travelling from London to Beijing or Shanghai takes around 10 hours. Direct flights to Hong Kong take around 12-13 hours

Festivals

The Spring Festival, mentioned above, is a wonderful time to visit China. It's celebrated nationwide and marked by visits to temples, street processions involving paper dragons, drummers and acrobats, and the setting off of firecrackers.

If you're interested in experiencing China's tribal culture, meanwhile, then timing your visit around a regional festival is definitely recommended. In Guizhou province the festivals are held at times of the year when there was traditionally less to do in the fields but plenty of food to go around. One of the most fascinating festivals is the Sisters' Meal Festival in April, when many of tribal youngsters choose a partner. Visit at this time and you'll see Miao people in decorated jackets and fine silver jewellery coming together to sing, play drums and enjoy dragon lantern dancing.

If food is your thing, then the Hong Kong Food Festival in August is a mouth-watering prospect. The action is focused on Lang Kwai Fong, a district of busy restaurants and inexpensive bars.

Visas

Please note that entry requirements and visa regulations can change often and at short notice. We can provide general information about the passport and visa requirements for your trip and this information may be included after the itinerary section of your quotation. Your specific passport and visa requirements and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Neither we nor the principal(s) or supplier(s) accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. Please call your WEXAS specialist if you wish to discuss entry requirements.

Passport requirements

Visa applicants are required to have a passport with at least six months validity from their planned arrival date in China.

Money

The mainland Chinese currency is the renminbi (RMB), also called the yuan (¥, the main unit of the renminbi currency). One yuan equals 10 jiao.

Paper money was invented in China and is still the main form of exchange, although you can often use credit and debit cards in most international-standard hotels, as well as in shops and restaurants in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and other major cities, and at major tourist attractions.

Chinese banknotes, featuring the portrait of Mao, come in the following denominations: ¥100, ¥50, ¥20, ¥10, ¥5 and ¥1.
Banks are often open seven days a week, except during public holidays. ATMs are also increasingly prevalent and are the easiest way to get hold of quick cash.

Regions [10]

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.


Itinerary ideas [18]

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.

Hong Kong, Sydney & Port Douglas

Special offer From £2159 pp incl. flights
History & culture City Natural world

This exciting three-centre holiday combines two of the world's great city destinations - Hong Kong and Sydney - with the tropical charms of Port Douglas, a …

Hong Kong & Borneo

Special offer From £1589 pp incl. flights
City History & culture Beach

This nine-day tailor-made holiday begins with a three-night stay at the Eaton Hotel in the heart of Kowloon, close to many of Hong Kong's street markets and …

Hong Kong & Penang

History & culture City

The Malaysian Island of Penang offers visitors a rare combination of centuries-old history, fabulous food, a captivating cacophony of cultures and a welcome bit …

Hong Kong & Bali

History & culture Beach City

Hong Kong is one of the world's great cities, a vibrant metropolis set beneath towering, forested peaks on the edge of Victoria harbour, where Chinese and …

Hong Kong, Sydney & Fiji

Special offer From £3325 pp incl. flights
City Beach History & culture

Combine the very best of city and beach as you journey half way around the world on this deluxe, 15-day tailor-made holiday to Hong Kong, Sydney and Fiji. Your …

Hong Kong & Thailand

Beach City History & culture

This classic city and beach holiday takes in the chaotic, colourful streets of Hong Kong and the beautiful beaches of Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand. The …

Ethnic villages of Guizhou and Li River

City History & culture

Discover the ethnic minorities of the Dong and Miao in the Guizhou region and take a cruise down the Li River, through stunning limestone karst landscapes. This …

Guangxi and the best of China

History & culture Natural world

Guangxi is the very soul of rural China. It’s a romantic region that’s been the subject of many paintings of China, which capture a landscape of soaring …

Monasteries and palaces of Tibet

History & culture Natural world

Take in the view from the ’Roof of the World’ as you visit one of the most remote places on earth on this incredible 11-day tailor-made adventure to …

The Silk Road – Moscow to Beijing

From £13995 pp incl. flights
Rail journey City History & culture

This epic 21-day journey takes you from Moscow, through Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to China and the city of Beijing. The first part of this …

Best of Beijing

City History & culture Short break

Enjoy a three-day tour of the fascinating capital of China. Beijing is an intriguing mix of ancient sites and attractions such as the Summer Palace, Forbidden …

Best of Shanghai

Short break City History & culture

Shanghai is China’s largest city, with over 13 million inhabitants. It’s a pulsating mix of new glass and steel skyscrapers, elegant colonial buildings and …

Best of Hong Kong

City Food & wine History & culture

The most important commercial centre in the East, Hong Kong has always been a significant city. Once the last outpost of the British Empire and now a shining …

Places to stay [16]

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.

Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, Hong Kong

Deluxe

What does Deluxe mean

?
x

WEXAS accommodation rating

  • EXCEPTIONAL: Ultra-luxury hotels that look to redefine the boundaries of experience, service and facilities (typically higher than 5 stars)
  • DELUXE: Outstanding accommodation with top-of-the-range facilities and excellent service, usually in a fantastic location (typically 5 stars)
  • SUPERIOR: A higher standard of accommodation with a better range and quality of facilities, often in a good location (typically 4 stars)
  • STANDARD: A good standard of clean and comfortable accommodation with a reasonable range of facilities (typically 3 stars)
  • BASIC: Simple accommodation with limited facilities that can be in remote areas where accommodation is extremely limited (typically 1 or 2 stars).
£££££

What does this price mean

?
x

WEXAS price guide

£££££ typically more than £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £300 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £200 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £100 per room per night

Note that hotel rates can vary widely depending on factors such as season

City History & culture

Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel occupies a prime position in Kowloon's Tsim Sha Tsui district, with views across Victoria Harbour and easy access to the city centre's …

Eaton, Hong Kong

Superior

What does Superior mean

?
x

WEXAS accommodation rating

  • EXCEPTIONAL: Ultra-luxury hotels that look to redefine the boundaries of experience, service and facilities (typically higher than 5 stars)
  • DELUXE: Outstanding accommodation with top-of-the-range facilities and excellent service, usually in a fantastic location (typically 5 stars)
  • SUPERIOR: A higher standard of accommodation with a better range and quality of facilities, often in a good location (typically 4 stars)
  • STANDARD: A good standard of clean and comfortable accommodation with a reasonable range of facilities (typically 3 stars)
  • BASIC: Simple accommodation with limited facilities that can be in remote areas where accommodation is extremely limited (typically 1 or 2 stars).
£££££

What does this price mean

?
x

WEXAS price guide

£££££ typically more than £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £300 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £200 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £100 per room per night

Note that hotel rates can vary widely depending on factors such as season

City History & culture

Eaton Hong Kong enjoys a wonderful location on Nathan Road in the heart of Kowloon, one of the city's main business and shopping districts. The hotel is also …

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

Deluxe

What does Deluxe mean

?
x

WEXAS accommodation rating

  • EXCEPTIONAL: Ultra-luxury hotels that look to redefine the boundaries of experience, service and facilities (typically higher than 5 stars)
  • DELUXE: Outstanding accommodation with top-of-the-range facilities and excellent service, usually in a fantastic location (typically 5 stars)
  • SUPERIOR: A higher standard of accommodation with a better range and quality of facilities, often in a good location (typically 4 stars)
  • STANDARD: A good standard of clean and comfortable accommodation with a reasonable range of facilities (typically 3 stars)
  • BASIC: Simple accommodation with limited facilities that can be in remote areas where accommodation is extremely limited (typically 1 or 2 stars).
£££££

What does this price mean

?
x

WEXAS price guide

£££££ typically more than £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £300 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £200 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £100 per room per night

Note that hotel rates can vary widely depending on factors such as season

City History & culture Food & wine

A WEXAS favourite, the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is without doubt one of the finest hotels in Hong Kong. Located in the heart of Hong Kong Island near the …

The Langham, Hong Kong

Deluxe

What does Deluxe mean

?
x

WEXAS accommodation rating

  • EXCEPTIONAL: Ultra-luxury hotels that look to redefine the boundaries of experience, service and facilities (typically higher than 5 stars)
  • DELUXE: Outstanding accommodation with top-of-the-range facilities and excellent service, usually in a fantastic location (typically 5 stars)
  • SUPERIOR: A higher standard of accommodation with a better range and quality of facilities, often in a good location (typically 4 stars)
  • STANDARD: A good standard of clean and comfortable accommodation with a reasonable range of facilities (typically 3 stars)
  • BASIC: Simple accommodation with limited facilities that can be in remote areas where accommodation is extremely limited (typically 1 or 2 stars).
£££££

What does this price mean

?
x

WEXAS price guide

£££££ typically more than £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £300 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £200 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £100 per room per night

Note that hotel rates can vary widely depending on factors such as season

City History & culture Food & wine

The Langham is without doubt one of the finest hotels in Hong Kong - a vision of European sophistication in the very heart of Hong Kong's Kowloon district, …

Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong

Deluxe

What does Deluxe mean

?
x

WEXAS accommodation rating

  • EXCEPTIONAL: Ultra-luxury hotels that look to redefine the boundaries of experience, service and facilities (typically higher than 5 stars)
  • DELUXE: Outstanding accommodation with top-of-the-range facilities and excellent service, usually in a fantastic location (typically 5 stars)
  • SUPERIOR: A higher standard of accommodation with a better range and quality of facilities, often in a good location (typically 4 stars)
  • STANDARD: A good standard of clean and comfortable accommodation with a reasonable range of facilities (typically 3 stars)
  • BASIC: Simple accommodation with limited facilities that can be in remote areas where accommodation is extremely limited (typically 1 or 2 stars).
£££££

What does this price mean

?
x

WEXAS price guide

£££££ typically more than £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £300 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £200 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £100 per room per night

Note that hotel rates can vary widely depending on factors such as season

City History & culture Food & wine

The award-winning Island Shangri-La is located in the centre of the citys central district. The signature tower, a gleaming architectural jewel containing 771 …

Langham Place

Deluxe

What does Deluxe mean

?
x

WEXAS accommodation rating

  • EXCEPTIONAL: Ultra-luxury hotels that look to redefine the boundaries of experience, service and facilities (typically higher than 5 stars)
  • DELUXE: Outstanding accommodation with top-of-the-range facilities and excellent service, usually in a fantastic location (typically 5 stars)
  • SUPERIOR: A higher standard of accommodation with a better range and quality of facilities, often in a good location (typically 4 stars)
  • STANDARD: A good standard of clean and comfortable accommodation with a reasonable range of facilities (typically 3 stars)
  • BASIC: Simple accommodation with limited facilities that can be in remote areas where accommodation is extremely limited (typically 1 or 2 stars).
£££££

What does this price mean

?
x

WEXAS price guide

£££££ typically more than £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £300 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £200 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £100 per room per night

Note that hotel rates can vary widely depending on factors such as season

History & culture City Food & wine

The refreshingly elegant and luxurious contemporary hotel in the epicentre of Kowloon features up to the moment design, the latest in technological …

The Excelsior, Hong Kong

Superior

What does Superior mean

?
x

WEXAS accommodation rating

  • EXCEPTIONAL: Ultra-luxury hotels that look to redefine the boundaries of experience, service and facilities (typically higher than 5 stars)
  • DELUXE: Outstanding accommodation with top-of-the-range facilities and excellent service, usually in a fantastic location (typically 5 stars)
  • SUPERIOR: A higher standard of accommodation with a better range and quality of facilities, often in a good location (typically 4 stars)
  • STANDARD: A good standard of clean and comfortable accommodation with a reasonable range of facilities (typically 3 stars)
  • BASIC: Simple accommodation with limited facilities that can be in remote areas where accommodation is extremely limited (typically 1 or 2 stars).
£££££

What does this price mean

?
x

WEXAS price guide

£££££ typically more than £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £300 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £200 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £100 per room per night

Note that hotel rates can vary widely depending on factors such as season

City History & culture

The Excelsior Hong Kong, part of the Mandarin Oriental Group, offers stylish accommodation, first-class dining and superb leisure facilities in the vibrant …

Intercontinental Hong Kong

Special offer Deluxe

What does Deluxe mean

?
x

WEXAS accommodation rating

  • EXCEPTIONAL: Ultra-luxury hotels that look to redefine the boundaries of experience, service and facilities (typically higher than 5 stars)
  • DELUXE: Outstanding accommodation with top-of-the-range facilities and excellent service, usually in a fantastic location (typically 5 stars)
  • SUPERIOR: A higher standard of accommodation with a better range and quality of facilities, often in a good location (typically 4 stars)
  • STANDARD: A good standard of clean and comfortable accommodation with a reasonable range of facilities (typically 3 stars)
  • BASIC: Simple accommodation with limited facilities that can be in remote areas where accommodation is extremely limited (typically 1 or 2 stars).
£££££

What does this price mean

?
x

WEXAS price guide

£££££ typically more than £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £400 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £300 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £200 per room per night

£££££ typically up to £100 per room per night

Note that hotel rates can vary widely depending on factors such as season

City History & culture Food & wine

Stylish and contemporary accommodation, unparalleled views of Victoria Harbour and some of the best dining in the city all go towards making the …

Raffles Beijing

The past, present and future of Beijing come together at Raffles, located in the heart of China's historic capital, just moments from the Forbidden City.

The Langham, Yangtze Boutique, Shanghai

The Langham, Yangtze Boutique is Shanghai’s only 5-star luxury art deco boutique hotel. Winner of the ’China Top Boutique Hotel 2009’ award by the World …

The Peninsula Beijing, China

The Peninsula Beijing is a luxury 5-star hotel right in the centre of the city, a short walk to Tiananmen Square, close to the business, shopping and …

Banyan Tree Lijiang, China

With dramatic scenery, luxury villas and excellent service, the Banyan Tree Lijiang is the ideal resort to stay in the heart of the snow-capped peaks of Yunnan …

Banyan Tree Ringha, Yunnan, China

Deep in the heart of the majestic mountainous region of Zhongdian or Shangri-La in the province of Yunnan lies a secluded luxury resort, the Banyan Tree Ringha.

Peninsula - Kowloon

The Peninsula is the original Hong Kong luxury hotel, located on the harbour, where afternoon tea in the massive lobby is and institution. With its rich …

Jc Mandarin

The Shanghai JC Mandarin is a luxury hotel, strategically located in the centre of Shanghai's prime shopping and business district, making it a perfect choice …

Hyatt On The Bund

The Hyatt on the Bund is located on the banks of the Huangpu River at the northern end of the Bund. For the best views of the city and the river take the lift …

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