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Down to Earth Travel Information on China

On the topic Travel Information on China I could write pages and pages of information. This website is really the best overall statement I can make about Travel Information on China. Below is a very brief summary

Travel Information on China, Land and Climate

China is vast, and diverse… 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million square miles - slightly smaller than the USA) with the largest population of any country in the world at approximately 1.3 billion (one fifth of the world’s population, and more than four times the USA). China includes over 5000 islands in and around its coastline with the Taiwan province and Hainan Island being the two largest.

Climate - China is so far-reaching the climate differences between north & south, and east & west are significant; (as a rule of thumb, I have taken Shanghai as a dividing line).

Spring – February, March, April
Summer - May, June, July
Autumn – August, September, October
Winter – November, December, January

My first choice on the most comfortable time to Travel to China and plan your China vacation would be autumn. This is a lovely time of year, not too hot or humid, with temperatures around 20'C to 25'C.

Spring,would be my next choice, with temperatures around the same as at autumn time.

The Summers are very hot and humid, Shanghai is around 35'C moving to 40'C, very sticky and humid.

The winter’s are cold, Shanghai reaching down to 0'C, and Harbin in the north (where the illuminated winter ice sculptures are a magic showcase), can get between -15'C to -30'C. (Ouch!)

The best place to escape the cold weather is to Southern China.

Spring and Autumn are busy tourist times, especially for Beijing and Shanghai , the business and tourist traffic never seems to slow down. China, being so vast and with recently relaxed restrictions on domestic travel, generates massive numbers of native tourists; foreign visitors regularly compete with locals for space.

The most busiest times of the year are the following times, Spring Festival, this would be the Chinese New Year time, (around the end on January / Early February), Labour day Holidays, (early May), and National Day Holidays, (early October).

Millions of Chinese travel at these times of the year, major congestion, most are travelling back to home towns or seeing family. Hotels, Cars, Trains, Planes, Buses, Roads… all packed to the maximum.

I can probably help you avoid this problem. It is best to plan your trip and book your accommodation well ahead on time, drop me an e-mail - I can help.

The Locals

My passion about the place and its people are all in this website so I will keep this part brief.

The Chinese are a diverse people, as demonstrated by the many dialects and cultures. You will be treated very well everywhere you go, by friendly folks who have the proud intention, despite language differences, of providing good service. I could write pages and pages of the wonderful treatment I have received every time I travel in China.

The further away from the bigger cities, the warmer and more welcoming the people become.

Remember !! wherever you travel in China, everyone is hungry for the tourist dollar, and competition is tough, so just smile and keep your cool.

The money is the Chinese Yuan (for us non-Chinese it’s pronounced U-an); on the streets it is RMB (ar-em-bee) or Kuai (kwhy). The rate is pegged against the US dollar and is around 8.26. Hotels can move it around a little.

The Wonderful Chinese Food

This is a real treat, the food is great, and when you return home, your local Chinese food will never be the same.

The Variety, The Flavors ! Ok I am excited about the food…I could talk about the wonderful food all day. Here is an example of how different Real Chinese Food can be from your Chinese food at home.

A usual favorite for the western visitor is the good old “Sweet and Sour Pork”. In the Real China you could go to a dozen restaurants and order the same thing and it will be served to you differently, every time.

The basic structure of the dish is the same, however each will have its own special twist. This is because the chefs come from different parts of China and all have their own way of preparing and presenting this favourite meal. Trust me, all varieties are great.

All regions, towns and villages have their specialty foods. A tour to travel across China, just for the food would be fun.

Ok, sometimes you do not know what you are eating (for those of you who really need to know. Everything does taste like chicken…hehehe.)

I would say over 90% of all restaurant menus in the major cities are in Chinese only, and out of the cities, in the smaller places, it is 100%. This can be frustrating as you are then forced to visit an over-priced restaurant catering for the tourist.

The food is fantastic, Trust me, To help you experience the great local food and save some money along the way (as well as to let you know you are not eating something strange), I have made up a small menu to help you out. You can carry it with you and use it in the local restaurants where most will be able to serve what is on it. This way you know what you are eating. Drop me a line if you would like me to send it to you.

Please send me the Travel Information on China Menu

Experiment a little..., The food can be so cheap it does not matter if you do not like it, order something else.

The Language

The main, official language is Chinese Mandarin; Hong Kong speaks Cantonese, and Shanghai folks have their own version of Mandarin. Many other local and regional languages are spoken throughout China.

English has been taught from primary school level for over 15 years; however, the level of oral English is still not so good, especially when you move out from the cities.

The communication and cultural misunderstandings are the single biggest frustration about Travel in China, however the sights sounds and experiences you will enjoy will totally outweigh the frustrations; just smile, keep your cool, things will work out.

Shanghai and Beijing are very well set up and you will face no real problems. My advice would be to bring with you a small travel phrase book; with friendly Chinese help, you will soon learn how to, (roughly) pronounce essential phrases.

Hotels

Hotels in China can be an interesting experience, I have detailed some important points that Ithink you will appreciate. Click here for more details.

When it comes to low budget accommodation within China , most Agents will not wish to handle this due to no money in booking andprocessing low budget accommodation.

I have a page for this, I have found a very good, proven Hostel / Budget accommodation network that you can book and put in place before you go, this saves a lot of time when you arrive at new places searching for somewhere to stay. Click here for more details

For Shanghai, I have found brand new small of the main track, Chinese Business hotel,and its 5 minutes from the most famous Xintain Di area in Shanghai, right in the heart of downtown. Double, Single, Large rooms are all available at a very good rate.

The Hotel does not do breakfast , however there is a supermarket next door and 10 minutes walk up the Rd is a “All you can eat” western breakfast buffet for RMB28 in a French restaurant serving a large serviced apartment complex.

Please contact me if you would like to stay here, its very good value

Travel Visa

Everyone requires a visa of some type and there are many types. China is changing so fast, rules and regulations change at the same fast pace.For more information on China, visa types and classifications click below.

Travel Information on China Visa types and classifications.

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