Found in the Min Shan mountain range in South Western China the Jiuzhai Valley National Park is an amazing area that features nine Tibetan villages, over 200 species of birds and endangered animals such as the Sichuan golden monkey and the giant panda.
Home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, the People’s Republic of China is a breathtaking country that is as rich and diverse as its long history. The largest country located entirely in Asia, China has a wide assortment of landscapes and attractions to explore. From the shores of the Pacific Ocean in the east to the Himalayan mountains in the west, China has everything from grasslands to magnificent rivers to deserts for you to explore while experiencing its unique and historic culture.
Currency: Renminbi (Chinese yuan)
Language: Mandarin (spoken) Vernacular Chinese (written)
Government: Single-party State
- In China, the colour red represents happiness and is often used for celebrations and events such as weddings. White is seen as a colour that represents mourning and is often worn at funerals.
- Since 1949, the entire People’s Republic of China has been using a single standard time (UTC +08:00), despite the country spanning 5 traditional time zones (UTC +05:00 – UTC +09:00).
- With an estimated 300 million players, ping pong is China’s most popular amateur recreational sport.
- Chinese inventions include the compass, kites, gunpowder and toilet paper.
- The most popular hobby among Chinese citizens is stamp collecting.
China’s complex topography and immense size ensures that the weather and temperature varies greatly throughout the country. In the south the temperature can remain high all year long, while in central China four distinctive seasons can be observed. Through most of the country dry seasons and wet monsoons lead to distinctly hot summers and cold winters. There is no “ideal season” to visit, so when planning a trip to China it is always best to prepare for the weather conditions specific to the area you are traveling to.
- Spring – March to May
- Summer – June to August
- Autumn – September to November
- Winter – December to February
China is one of the oldest countries in the world and its origin extends beyond recorded history. However, archaeologists have discovered urban sites and bronze tools that were used during what is believed to be China’s first dynasty, the Xia dynasty, which ran approximately from 2070-1600 BC. After which came China’s first dynasty with a recorded history, the Shang Dynasty (1600-1029 BC).
Each dynasty is marked with its own innovations and accomplishments, and in 221 BC China had established itself as a unified state when its first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, rose to power. This period, known as the Qin dynasty, lasted only 15 years but saw a standardization of language, measurement and currency.
China’s Imperial era continued for 2000 years until 1912 AD when there was a revolution against the then ruling Qing dynasty. From 1912 the Republic of China was based in mainland China until 1949 when Chinese Communists, assisted by the Soviet Union, overtook the country in a civil war and established the People’s Republic of China in October of that year.
Discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a water well, the terracotta army feature over 8000 soldiers built over 2000 years ago.
Not only the birthplace of Zen Buddhism, the Shaolin Temple is a massive site in the Dengfeng City where people from all over the world travel to meditate, study kung fu and experience the serenity of the temple and the sights it has to offer.
Ancient and magnificent, the Great Wall of China is located in the northern part of the country.
Located in Beijing, the largest ancient palatial structure in the world is also the best preserved imperial palace in China.
Train travel can be exciting, romantic and… long. Here are nine tips for making the most of a lengthy train ride.
Hong Kong may be one of the world’s most expensive cities, but there’s plenty to see and do for those on a budget. Here are our top five picks for free activities in Hong Kong.
Shanghai is an expensive city. But with some creativity and good walking shoes, there are plenty of fun free things to do in this place where ancient tradition meets space-age modernity.
It’s rare that travellers take a boat from Thailand to China. So why not jump on board for a truly unique experience? You’ll get to see the sights of the Mekong River along the way, and take a break from the traditional tourist scene.
New Year’s may almost be upon us, but in China, the big celebration is still another month away. Here’s what to expect during the 2013 Year of the Snake celebrations.
At the Chengdu Research base in China, visitors can come face-to-face with the country’s national treasures: giant pandas.
Taking a trip to China? Rachel Stuckey offers up her travel advice on everything from chopsticks to SIM cards.
China’s Red Tourism initiatives have turned sites such as Tiananmen Square and Mao’s birthplace into tourist attractions. The latest project honouring the Communist Party’s past is the opening of a former atomic bomb testing site.
Join Cheryll as she discovers the country’s rich history at some of China’s most unforgettable sites while searching for the best shopping.
Where are the most culturally rich cities in the world? The World Cities Culture Report has named its Top 12 choices. Do you agree with the picks?
Beach goers in Qingdao, China, are protecting their skin in a surprising way: full face masks.
No visit to China is complete without a visit to the Great Wall. The Great Wall is one of the most famous structures of the world that can be seen from space!
You will want to enjoy the ritual of drinking tea while you’re in China. But beware the Chinese Tea Scam! Read on to find out how it works so you’ll be prepared.
The chefs celebrate the end of their epic six-month journey with stinky tofu and duck heads. They also overcome the language barriers and visit the Great Wall.
The boys from Chefs Run Wild share the most gruesome and exciting parts of their journey in this web exclusive, only on Travel + Escape.
In this candid behind-the-scenes exclusive with T+E Senior Editor Gariné Tcholakian, the stars of Chefs Run Wild dish the goods on what it was like to make a wild travel show and travel across Southeast Asia for 6 months. JOIN THE LIVE CONVERSATION with Chad, Clayton and Lyndon on TWITTER @TravelandEscape ~ Follow #ChefsRunWild
China is not alone in celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Dragon. Find out your best travel bets for ringing in your luck with an extra roar this year.
The Chinese do more than wish for prosperity. They follow specific traditions to guarantee luck comes their way.