China

Summary

A place of superlatives – one of the largest countries in the world, the most populous, one of the most powerful, one of the most beautiful, yet one of the most unknown. A place of huge deserts, vast plains, magical forests and some of the highest mountains and the longest rivers. A place where time has stood still in parts while in other areas things are changing daily, such as in the ever-exciting cities of Shanghai and Beijing.

China offers the traveller a range of experiences, from some of the most ancient temples and artifacts to a fascinating culture spread from north to south and east to west. Explore ancient engineering feats at the Great Wall and Terracotta Army and then head to the modern sky-scrapers of Beijing and Shanghai - all equally impressive. The culture is colourful and vibrant with lots to see and do. Whether you're relaxing on a trip down the Yangtze River or marvelling at the Giant Pandas - China is simply a place you'll never forget. 

Experiences

  • Marvel at the world famous Great Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Rub shoulders with the Terracotta Army in X’ian
  • Watch the Giant Pandas play in Chengdu
  • Enjoy a cruise down the stunning Yangtze River
  • Experience the celebrations of Chinese New Year
  • Visit The Bund, the famous waterfront which has been regarded as the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years.
  • Explore the Forbidden City in Beijing
  • Learn kung-fu from Shaolin monks
  • Find adventure in Yangshuo county
  • Make your own Chinese speciality at a cookery school

Seasons

China is a vast country with a range of conditions including altitude and latitude influencing the local climate. The country includes desert in the north-west, mountains in the south-west toward Tibet, grasslands toward its border with Mongolia and tropical islands in the south-east. In general, the climate becomes cooler and drier further north with similar seasons to the UK.

Summers are hot throughout the country. Winters are cold, with snowfall in the northern parts and areas of high altitude.

Late March to early June as well as September and October (Spring and Autumn) are generally considered the best overall time to travel to the main tourist attractions, June-August being the hotter summer season.

  • April-May: Comfortable weather for travel
  • June-August: Summer with nice sunny weather but is wetter than Spring and Autumn
  • September and October: Comfortable weather for travel
  • November-March: the low season over winter where temperatures can be very cold, especially in the north (Beijing, Xi’an, Harbin) where blizzards and snowfall are common. The southern regions (Shanghai, Guilin, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Hong Kong) have milder winters

Best time to go

Generally speaking, the best months to visit China are in the spring or autumn months of April, May, September and October as temperatures are warm and it is fairly dry.

Would you like to know more? Enquire

FAST FACTS

  • Capital – Beijing
  • Currency – Yuan Renminbi
  • Point of Entry – Shanghai and Beijing
  • Airlines – British Airways and Virgin Atlantic
  • Flying Time – 9 hrs 50 mins
  • Time Zone – GMT + 7 hrs
  • Visa – Required, must be obtained in advance

INSIDER TIPS

  • National Dish - In Beijing: Peking duck.
  • Restaurant the Locals Love - In Shanghai, you don’t go to Jesse Restaurant for the ambience; you go for the Shanghainese food—like hongshao rou, the most succulent version of this red-braised pork belly dish that you’ll find in the city.
  • Meal Worth the Splurge - Made in China is a great small Chinese restaurant in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Beijing. Its Beijing duck and beggar’s chicken are the best in Beijing.
  • Don’t Forget to Pack - China Taxi-Book is a talking English Chinese dictionary and phrasebook.
  • Don’t Miss - Xi’an. It’s got more than the army of terracotta warriors. Xi’an was modern China’s first capital city and the end of the mighty Silk Road. So there’s tons to see, like the vibrant Islamic Quarter and the Shaanxi History Museum.
  • Hidden Gem - The Tibetan-influenced region that includes Yunnan, Sichuan, and Gansu provinces. Most people don’t know that there is a huge strip of Tibetan culture in these western provinces.
  • Things to do to see Local Life - In Shanghai or Beijing: Get up early and watch the locals exercise.
  • Perfect Souvenir - In Shanghai: Silks and fabrics from Shiliupu Fabric Market in the city centre.
  • Be aware of any local festivals or National holidays. Whilst these can be a great insight into Chinese tradition and culture, hotel rooms, train tickets or air tickets will definitely be in great demand and huge crowds can gather at major attractions.

Beijing


Chengdu


Hangzhou


Lijiang


Sanya


Shanghai


Xian


Yangshuo


Yangtze River


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