Sunday, November 19, 2017 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

Travel Guide to China – A Visitors Guide to China

Planning to visit China? China is considered the world's oldest country, with its history believed to reach back 5000 years. Credited with the invention of paper, gunpowder, the compass, and silk, among other ingenious items, the Chinese have always been an influential culture. The mystery of the Forbidden City, the incredible modernity of Shanghai, and the immensity of the Great Wall of China barely scratch the surface of the enigma that is today's China.

China
Capital
Beijing has history stretching back three millennia. Yet it’s known as much for its modern sensibilities as its ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex.
1.4 BILLION People
China, with over 20% of the world's population, is an East Asian nation encompassing grassland, desert, mountains, lakes, rivers and more than 14,000km of coastline.
Main Airport
Beijing Capital International Airport
Beijing Capital International Airport is the main international airport serving Beijing. It is located 32 km northeast of Beijing's city center. The codes for this airport are:BJS & PEK.
When to Go
Best Time
  • Spring: ~14°C (57°F)
    April - May
  • Summer: ~27°C (81°F)
    June - August
  • Autumn: ~13°C (55°F)
    September - October
  • Winter: ~4°C (39°F)
    November - March
Currency
¥
Yuan Renminbi
10 Fun Facts
  • • Table tennis is China's national sport.
  • • China uses 45 billion chopsticks per year.
  • • Cricket fighting is a popular amusement in China.
  • • The number one hobby in China is stamp collecting.
  • • Despite its size, all of China is in one time zone.
  • • In China, over 35 million people still live in caves.
  • • Many historians believe soccer originated in China around 1000 B.C.
  • • China has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget.
  • • The Chinese were the first in the world to use stirrups in the third century A.D.
  • • On September 27, 2008, Zhai Zhigang made the first spacewalk by a Chinese astronaut.
Basic Phrases
Mandarin Chinese
  • PLEASE
    Q?ngt
  • THANK YOU
    Xièxiè
  • ENGLISH
    Zàijiàn

  • HELLO
    N? h?o
  • GOODBYE
    Hwyl fawr
Food and Drinks
  • Won Ton
  • Pork Stuffed Tofu
  • Chow Mein
  • Jiaozi
  • Spring Rolls
  • Shao Qie Zi
  • Chòudòufu
  • Baozi
What to Tip
  • None
    Waitstaff
  • None
    Bartenders
  • None
    Taxi Drivers
  • 2¥ - 3¥
    Porters per bag
  • Optional
    Tour Guides

China, with over 20% of the world's population, is an East Asian nation encompassing grassland, desert, mountains, lakes, rivers and more than 14,000km of coastline. The population of China is approximately 1.4 billion people. China's currency is the Yuan Renminbi.

Beijing has history stretching back three millennia. Yet it’s known as much for its modern sensibilities as its ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex.

The main airport serving China is Beijing Capital International Airport. The busiest airport in Asia, it is located 32 km northeast of Beijing's city center.

China experiences four seasons.

  • Spring: April - May. Average temperature is ~14°C (57°F).
  • Summer: June - August. Average temperature is ~27°C (81°F).
  • Autumn: September - October. Average temperature is ~13°C (55°F).
  • Winter: November - March. Average temperature is ~4°C (39°F).

Visitors will want to be sure they don’t miss these top tourism attractions in China.

Here are some interesting and fun facts you may not know about China.

  • Table tennis is China's national sport.
  • China uses 45 billion chopsticks per year.
  • Cricket fighting is a popular amusement in China.
  • The number one hobby in China is stamp collecting.
  • Despite its size, all of China is in one time zone.
  • In China, over 35 million people still live in caves.
  • Many historians believe soccer originated in China around 1000 B.C.
  • China has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget.
  • The Chinese were the first in the world to use stirrups in the third century A.D.
  • On September 27, 2008, Zhai Zhigang made the first spacewalk by a Chinese astronaut.

Don't leave your electronics at home. Here are the best Chinese travel apps you'll want to download to your iPhone or Android device before your visit.

For a real China experience, you need to try these iconic foods and drinks. Some are traditional Chinese dishes while others have been "borrowed" from immigrants and neighbors.

  • Won Ton
  • Pork Stuffed Tofu
  • Chow Mein
  • Jiaozi
  • Spring Rolls
  • Shao Qie Zi
  • Chòudòufu
  • Baozi

Work off that amazing food, enjoy the great outdoors, or just try something new. These favorite Chinese activities let you get out and enjoy the country the way the locals do.

Every country has its own ideas of who should be tipped and how much. Nobody wants to overtip or, worse, be considered a rude guest. Here’s what to tip in China.

  • Waitstaff – None
  • Bartenders – None
  • Taxi Drivers – None
  • Porters per bag – 2¥ - 3¥
  • Tour Guides – Optional

From casual comfort to luxury accommodations, China has plenty of great hotel choices for you to relax and unwind.

  • East Beijing Hotel – Near a metro station, this ultrachic, high-rise hotel with original artwork is 2 km from the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art.
  • The HuLu Hotel – Hulu is a courtyard hotel where classical wooden houses are combined with new modern building. Hulu features tranquility, harmony and balance of Asian Buddhism.
  • Rosewood Beijing – This hotel features some of the best restaurants in Beijing, offering exquisite cuisine and exceptional service in a Chinese-influenced, modern atmosphere.
  • Beijing Hotel NUO – Inspired by the artistic visionaries of the Ming Dynasty, NUO Hotel Beijing draws on China's past to create a masterpiece of modern Ming living.
  • Grove of Narberth – Centrally located within the vicinity of Wangfujing, the newly opened, low-rise hotel is only minutes away from many major cultural attractions.
  • St Brides Spa Hotel – Located a heartbeat from the legendary Forbidden City, Regent Beijing invites travelers to immerse in more than 3,000 years of history.

China's written history dates to 1500 BC, but it continues to reinvent itself through the millennia. Visitors to this country will be amazed by the juxtaposition of the ancient and the modern.


6 Comments

  1. Chris
    September 8, 2017 - 3:48 am

    Traveling to China can never cease to be a fun-filled movement, but I get confused most times about some things in China. What does the Forbidden City mean? It sounds more like a city where no one visits. Could you please highlight on this?

    Reply
  2. Halyna R.
    September 8, 2017 - 8:54 am

    I love the fun facts about China in this article. I had no idea table tennis and stamp collecting was so popular there. It’s a cool contrast between the normal everyday life of Chinese people and what we foreigners get to experience as tourists. I personally would love to do a homestay in China and see what their everyday life looks like. Just as well as visit all the tourist attractions. Seeing the temples and the Great Wall is a must! And explore the Wangfujing Street and try some of the…

    Reply
  3. Vicky
    September 9, 2017 - 5:55 pm

    Shopping! Shopping!! Shopping!!! That was what took most of my time during my first and still the last visit to Beijing. I just wanted to get them all; from the electronic gadgets, to the ancient arts and even the food recipe and chop sticks. It would have been a bit of adventure if not for my sister that also went along with me. She was just absolutely intrigued with how foods were eaten with chopsticks and she just wanted to learn.
    I promised myself that the next visit is going to be more…

    Reply
  4. Kelly
    September 10, 2017 - 3:34 pm

    My favourite place in China is around the Chengdu region – it’s green, mountainous and beautiful. I also really enjoyed exploring all the buddhist temples, and there are some really awesome hikes worth doing (I know most people don’t think of hiking in China – but trust me, it’s worth looking into).

    Reply
  5. Richard G.
    September 12, 2017 - 6:59 pm

    Cool post! Quite an informative and useful list. China is amazingly beautiful

    Reply
  6. Caitlin
    September 30, 2017 - 6:40 pm

    China certainly has quite a lot to offer tourists! It’s an absolutely huge country with a lot of variety as far as scenery and culture. There have a been a few articles written by the Vacation Times that have featured incredibly interesting attractions in China, including amusement parks. I hope to one day visit and maybe make the trip across the Great Wall of China. That sounds like it would be very interesting! It would also be very educational to visit museums and study the rich history…

    Reply

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