China's landscapes vary significantly across its vast width. In the east, along the shores of the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea, there are extensive and densely populated alluvial plains, while in the north on the edges of the Inner Mongolian plateau the area is dominated by grasslands. Southern China's landscape is predominantly hilly and mountainous, while the central-east is host to China's two major river deltas, the Yellow River and the mighty Yangtze River.
Over the last 40 years China has turned itself into an economic and industrial superpower. Its relatively cheap labour and the famous work ethic of its people have seen Chinese goods exported all over the world.
However, despite the shining new cities that have emerged, much
of old, rural China and its culture remains.
Size: 9,596,960 square kilometres
Population: 1.3 Billion
Languages: Chinese (many different dialects) & Mandarin
Religion: Officially atheist; Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%
Land borders: Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Macau.
Climate: With such a large area the climate in China is extremely diverse ranging from tropical conditions in the south to subarctic in north. Click here to contact one of our consultants for more information on when and where to travel.
Money: Renminbi. ATMs are available in major cities.
Tipping: Not expected but in China tips are generally welcome in areas frequented by tourists. It is becoming customary to tip guides and drivers on tours if they have provided a high level of service. The level of tipping is completely at your discretion but as a guide 5-10% will be sufficient.
Formalities: Visa's ARE required for British nationals and this need to be obtained before departing the UK. Visas for China are obtainable from the Chinese Embassy. They take around 10-14 working days to process; more details on how to apply can be found on the Chinese Embassy website. www.chinese-embassy.org.uk
Travel advice: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office produce up-to-date information on countries around the world. This which can be checked on www.fco.gov.uk