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Full country name: People's Republic of China
Population: 1,33 bilion (July 2010 est.)
Capital City: Beijing (pop 12.6 million)
Language: Mandarin, Cantonese
Religion: Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%
Government: Communist Republic
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +8 (Beijing Time.)
Dialling Code: 86
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric

Money & Costs:
Currency: Renminbi ('People's Money')
Average yearly salary: USD 6,600

Budget: US$1-2
Mid-range: US$5-10
High: US$10-25
Top: US$25+
Budget: US$25-35
Mid-range: US$35-100
High: US$100-300
Top: US$300+

Generally, eastern China is much more expensive than the western part of the country. Visitors to eastern China could get by on around $50 a day, but it would be a challenge. Budget travellers in western China should be able to keep costs down to $25 per day. The main drain on savings tends to be long train journeys. Food is cheap throughout China, and if you're careful you won't have to spend much more than $7 a day on meals. However, the bottom line is that you'll be charged the 'tourist price' a lot of the time - it's a practice encouraged by the government. Tipping is not really expected in mainland China.

Geography: China is the third largest country in the World, just behind Russia and Canada. It has an area of about 9.6 million square kilometers which comprises about 6.5% of the world total land area. The population of China is over 1.2 billion people. This is about one-fifth of the world's population. China is a very diverse land including deserts, mountains and fertile river basins. Much of western China is mountains with the Himalaya, Tian and Pamir ranges. Western China also has a large desert. Central China consists of mountainous regions. Rivers also play a major role in China, both for transportation and for irrigation. Much of the northern wheat fields and southern rice fields are irrigated from rivers.

Climate: China has a great diversity of climates. The northeast experiences hot and dry summers and bitterly cold winters. The north and central region has almost continual rainfall, hot summers and cold winters. The southeast region has substantial rainfall, with semi-tropical summers and cool winters. Central, southern and western China are also susceptible to flooding, China is also periodically subject to seismic activity. Spring (March-April) and autumn (September-October) are the best times to visit China. Daytime temperatures range from 20 C to 30 C (68 F-86 F) in these seasons - but bear in mind that nights can still be bitterly cold and it can sometimes be wet and miserable.

Recommended clothing: North - heavyweight clothing with boots for the harsh northern winters. Lightweight clothing for summer. South - mediumweight clothing for winter and lightweight for summer.

Social conventions: There are some cultural differences that create some ambiguities between the visitors and the locals. Chinese do not usually start the conversation or volunteer the information, therefore you have to ask questions to get the answers. Local people may start following you in the remoter areas, but this is just because of curiosity, so don't be offended.

Health: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers coming from infected areas. There is also a risk of malaria, especially in the low-lying areas of China, therefore seek medical advice before departure. All poultry and egg dishes should be cooked before consuming. Japanese encephalitis is especially dangerous in Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces in northern China. Outside the city centres, bottled water instead of tap water is recommended. China has western-style medical centres, however, travel insurance is still recommended.

Food & Drink: You would hardly find a person that has not yet tried Chinese dishes. The varied cuisine of China is very popular and it is considered to be one of the top three in the world. The main foods in China are usually rice and wheat. Potato, sweet potato, millet, corn and various legumes are also common. Apart from rice, wheaten food like steamed bread, deep-fried twisted dough sticks, steamed stuffed buns, noodles, cakes and snacks with special local flavors are something China can be proud of.

Public Holidays:
1 Jan New Year's Day
Feb Spring Festival
8 Mar International Women's Day
1 May International Labour Day
4 May Youth Day
1 Jun International Children's Day
1 Jul Birthday of the Chinese Communist Party
1 Aug Anniversary of the founding of the PLA
1 Oct National Day

Note: Major public holidays, in particular Chinese New Year, are perhaps best avoided as it's difficult to get around and/or find accommodation.

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

Study in China: Below are the latest Chinese language schools, international business schools, colleges & universities to join our directory.

Schools & colleges listing on Learn4Good:Location
Keats School, KunmingKunming, China
New Concept Mandarin, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and many moreBeijing, China
"The Journey" Dance Camp in China with Sunshine StudiosBeijing, China
Konall Culture Exchange, ShijiazhuangShijiazhuang, China
Spanish GurusBeijing, China
Hanbridge Mandarin, Shenzhen & ChengduShenzhen, China
Hanbridge Mandarin - Online ClassesShenzhen, China
New Concept Mandarin, BeijingBeijing, China
Miracle Mandarin Chinese School, Shanghai, ChinaShanghai, China
YourMandarin Chinese Language School, ChongqingChongqing, China

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