Travel Guide: China
China Travel Guide: General Travel Guide Information about China.
This is a concise travel guide for China. We have written this travel guide on China to help you to develop an understanding for China and all of the beautiful points to travel. We also want you to understand the nuances of traveling to China such as how to be safe, what places to see, and much more. We assure you that our travel guide to China will be a very helpful tool when visiting this beautiful country. We also offer interpreters in China whenever you have the need for them. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need an interpreter in China or assistance in any way.
As a special service to our clients and readers, we at World Interpreting, Inc. are working hard to offer you something different aside from our language translation and interpretation services. As we actively pursue excellence in our services, we also want you to experience what it will be like to travel to other countries by providing you with concise country and city profiles and other interesting tidbits of information about each country. Travel Guide China is just one of these innovations we are introducing. We will be coming up with more.
Travel Guide China is another offering to you. It will take you to different fantastic places in China as well as some of the famous landmarks and notable cities, so you will already have a general idea about China if and when you decide to actually travel and explore this fascinating and laid-back country in Asia.
Travel Guide China will assist you in getting a bird’s eye view of the country’s geography, language, the places of interest, landmarks and things you can do in China as well as give you travel safety tips. We do hope you will come back often to travel with us to other destinations around the world.
:: Introducing China ::
Ever since China opened its doors to the West in 1978, not only did it see a huge boom in its economy, it also became one of the favorite tourist destinations in the world. Many are fascinated in its ancient history and China do have so many places to see and things to do that travelers will have a difficult time in planning their itineraries. In one city or province alone, a short stay will be full-packed with activities daily.
China, which is officially called the People’s Republic of China or PRC is a very large country, and the most populous in the world. It encompasses a land area of over 9.6 million square kilometers or 3.7 million square miles, and home to over 1.3 billion inhabitants.
Mandarin is the official language in the country although English is taught in school and is a prerequisite for university education. However, they Chinese are not well-conversant in English because their learning focused on writing and grammar. While you should caution yourself as there are many scams going on where some unscrupulous personalities pretending to be students of English prey on unsuspecting tourists, you can still get by with speaking in English to get the message across by speaking slowly and using simple and short sentences. You have to approach everything with an open mind, patience and understanding. While tourism is becoming quite big in China, and more signs in English are being put up in tourist destinations, you may still find that these are grammatically incorrect and the translations may be difficult to understand. But you can still decipher what most signs and announcements mean after a while.
The whole country includes four directly-controlled municipalities, 5 autonomous regions including Tibet and Inner Mongolia, 22 provinces and the 2 special administrative regions, Macau and Hong Kong. The country is located in East Asia and shares land borders with Afghanistan, Burma, Bhutan, India, North Korea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyztan, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Mongolia Russia, Vietnam and Tajikistan. Part of China borders the Korea Bay, the Yellow Sea, South China Sea and the East China Sea.
It has one of the world’s earliest civilizations that started in the region of the Yellow River and Ancient China has a political system based on hereditary monarchies or dynasties, believed to have stated in the with the Xia Dynasty, considered as semi-mythological dynasty that had been considered to have existed in 2000 BC. The last dynasty, the Qing, ended in 1912. It has always been a very influential country and has influenced many cultures in Asia, including Japan and Korea. With the vast area that it occupies, China also has the second-largest defense budget and the largest standing army in the world.
Since 1978, China is enjoying the recognition of being the fastest-growing economy in the world and is currently (2012) the second-largest economy in the world in terms of nominal gross domestic product and purchasing power parity.
The country’s name is said to have originated from the Persian word “Cin,” which was derived from the Sanskrit word “Cina.” This was the name that the country was known for in Europe. It has been given many names through the course of the country’s long history and the emergence of new dynasties. In Mandarin Chinese it is called Zhōngguó, which translates to “main or central state/nation.”
It had been under the rule of several kings and emperors from the different dynasties that reigned in the country. The Shang Dynasty was the first confirmed dynasty in Ancient China, ruling the country from 1700-1027. It was followed by the Zhou Dynasty from 1027-221 BCE. The Qin Dynasty, ruling from 221-206 BCE was the beginning of Imperial China. Several dynasties became part of the imperial rule in China, ending with the Qing Dynasty that was in power from 1644 until 1911.
The glorious period of China when it achieved prominence culturally, economically, militarily and politically was during the Tang Period from 627 to 649. The works of art, particularly the ceramic, jade, paintings, lacquer, paintings, textiles and porcelain pieces from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) continue until today to be highly praised for their priceless beauty and perfection.
You can expect many exciting thing when you travel to China. The country’s attractions are almost endless. It will take years before you can see all that China has to offer and you will think that it will not be enough as there is always something new to see or do.
You can have the best of both worlds when you tour China. You can walk amidst its glorious past in historical cities and villages where old buildings and centuries-old temples in the older parts of the country such as Forbidden City in Beijing, Xi’an, Yunnan and the Puxi district of Shanghai. Or you can enjoy a more cosmopolitan atmosphere in the modern sections of Beijing, the Pudong district in the Shanghai Bund and Guangzhou. Tiananmen Square is famous all over the world, not only because of its size but also because of the significant events that happened there. Beijing has a number of palaces and ancient temples that will occupy several hours of your time. Staying in Beijing alone will give you a sneak peak into China’s history. And who can ever forget the Great Wall of China, which is accessible from Beijing?
In Xi’an the one of the most important site that you should not miss is the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and the Terracotta Army. While you are assured of a wonderful time spent walking around the streets in the French Concession in Shanghai Bund, as well as in exploring the rest of the contrasting districts in the Bund, the older and traditional Puxi and the modern district of Pudong.
While some of the destinations in China feature museums, temples and palaces created in different generations and architectural styles, the natural scenic beauty and the ethnic minorities of Guilin beckons to all nature lovers. Sichuan is famous for its Giant Panda Research and Breeding Station, caves, temples and natural rock formations as well as the giant sitting Buddha. You can also see several bodies of water in Sichuan that are blue, brown, green or yellow in color. Sichuan is also famous for its traditional cuisine like the Kung Pao Chicken and other spicy dishes.
Yunnan has the first wonder in the world, the Shilin or Stone Forest, the intriguing rock formations that were sculpted by nature into different shapes and forms. Guangdong on the other hand is quite near Hong Kong and is uniquely Cantonese, both in language and cuisine. Chinese food that is very well known in the West is basically Cantonese in origin. You will be awed by the beauty of the caves, temples, hot springs and the unbelievably low prizes of souvenir items at its flea market.
Our China travel guide provides you with an overview of what China is like and the places that are worth visiting and the many things that you can do while in each place to make each day of your trip filled to the brim. By using our pocket travel guide to China you can plan your itinerary better and prioritize the areas that you should not miss and plan for the things that you want to see and do. It is a compact view into the history, culture and attractions of China.
The country’s landscape is very diverse and its weather and climate patterns vary from region to region, although the whole country is under only one time zone. It has forest steppes, several mountains, valleys, gorges, rivers, agricultural areas and deserts. The world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest lies in its border with Nepal while the K2 mountain is situated in the Pakistan-China border.
Climate in China is varied and depends on the topography and location of the region. Check our section on climate of China to get a general view of the prevailing climate and temperatures on each region and use it as a guide when packing the essentials for your trip. Generally you can expect favorable weather and milder temperatures when you visit China in autumn and spring, as the weather and temperatures during summer can be hot and humid.
Our Travel Guide China aims to bring you to some of the best places to visit in China but with the vastness of the country and the thousands of places to visit and things to do, it is difficult to enumerate all the places because it is simply overwhelming. As you read the section on places to see and things to do in China, you will get an idea on what to expect and what to look out for when you decide to tour the country. We have also included a helpful section on travel safety tips, the climate in the different regions of China and a section on useful Mandarin words and phrases to help you along as you mingle with the locals. There is also a section on some things that are fun to know about China and its provinces, things that may have intrigued you such as the Silk Road; read the story behind the rare Giant Panda and understand one of the best known festivals in the country, the celebration of the Chinese New Year.
Our pocket travel guide has a downloadable version that you can print out and take with you. You can refer to its different concise sections to plan your itinerary, check out the average temperatures, places to see and things to do and have a general idea on what to do to keep safe while fully enjoying your trip to China.
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