China has for a very long time played a pivotal role in the development of civilisation. With its secrets finally beginning to open up to tourism, China itself is fast becoming an attractive destination. Small Ming dynasty villages scattered around the countryside juxtapose against the towering skyscrapers of busy Shanghai make the diverseness of China apparent. From the Great Wall of China to the Terracotta Warriors of Xian, China is filled with important symbolism. Kung fu. Ming vases. Silk. Tea. Classic cuisine. Confucius. Chairman Mao. Paper. Pagodas. Pandas. Paintings. Porcelain. China represents all that – and much, much more.
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CHINA QUICK FACTS
Currency: yuan (¥, CNY)
Area: 9,596,960 km²
Population: 1,393 billion (2018)
Language: Mandarin (Putonghua); recognized regionally: Wu (Shanghaiese), Cantonese (Yue), Mindong (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages
Religion: Buddhist c. 80%, Daoist (Taoist), Confucian, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%, Atheist c. 10%. Most Chinese are religious pluralists, observing a mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist beliefs and philosophies, but not necessarily practising. The state is officially atheist.
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz (US Type A, European Type C and Australian Type I plugs)
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CHINA PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 1 January, New Year’s Day
- 1 May, May Day
- 1–3 October, National Day
Also, Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), Tomb Sweeping Day (Qing Ming), Dragon Boat Festival, and Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.
CHINA WEATHER SYNOPSIS
China’s climate varies dramatically according to a number of variables, including altitude, latitude, and distance from the coast. Southern China experiences a tropical climate, with high temperatures and heavy rainfall particularly during the summer (May-September) while the mountainous regions of Southwestern China experience more moderate temperatures. Tibet and Inner Mongolia experience much harsher climates, with very cold winters and particularly strong winds to be expected in high altitude regions. Central and eastern China experiences fewer climate extremes but summers are known to be notably humid.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
SNOW SPORT IN CHINA
The snow sports season in China can stretch all the way from November and last until April, depending where in the country you are.
HIKING & CYCLING IN CHINA
The best time for outdoor activities in China is from April to October when the weather is moderate. The most pleasant months are May and October.
BEACH OPTIONS IN CHINA
China has some lovely beaches but be warned, they can get very crowded! The weather can be good from May to September, with June, July and August being the hottest months. Some of the most popular beaches are Yalong Bay, Wuzhizhou Island, Beidaihe Scenic Area, Tianya Haijiao and Putuoshan Island.
SURFING IN CHINA
Hainan Island is the surfing capital of China. There are two main surfing seasons: the August to October typhoon season and the November to March monsoon season. The most consistent waves can be found in January and February.
KITESURF IN CHINA
China has some great conditions for both kitesurfing and windsurfing from April to November. The best times are April & May and August to October. Some of the best kitesurfing spots are Pingtan, Xiamen, Hainan Island, Haikou, Bo’ao, Houhai, Binhai, Qidong, Dapeng and Nanshan Bay.
LGBTQ IN CHINA
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the People's Republic of China face legal and social challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in China since 1997. Following the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Taiwan, Chinese LGBT activists estimated that China is at least a decade away from legalising same-sex marriages, with the current priorities on introducing anti-discrimination laws, letting LGBT groups raise awareness without fear. Public opinion towards LGBT people is becoming more tolerant, but only amongst a small percentage of the population. There is also still much resistance from the authorities and various LGBT events have been banned in recent years.