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China is presently one of the brightest stars both economically and culturally. It has the second largest economy in the wolrd which is still developing rapidly. It is also the most populous country in the wolrd with a population of nearly 1.37 billion (2014). Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers, China is the world's third largest country which is full of vast and diverse landscape. As a cradle of civilization, the early hominids originated in the fertile basin of the Yellow River between 250,000 and 2.24 million years ago, and then established the first dynasty - Xian. Glories history and culture had been created during since then. Today, China is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world.
Official Name: The People's Republic of China (PRC)
Capital City: Beijing
Official Language: Standard Chinese (Mandarin)
Area: 9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi)
Population: 1.37 billion (2014)
GDP: $10.36 trillion USD (2014)
Location: East Asia, adjacent to Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia, and North Korea.
Territorial Seas: the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and the South China Sea
Climate: mainly dominated by dry seasons and wet monsoons
Time Zone: China Standard Time (UTC+8)
People: 91.51% Han and 55 ethnic groups
Religions: Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism or Atheist
Largest City: Shanghai
Beijing is presently the capital city, also the political, cultural and educational center of China. It is a direct-controlled municipality under the national government with one of the largest population - 21,689 million. The city administratively covers 14 districts and 2 counties, and locates adjacent to Hebei Province and Tianjing City. The history of Beijing can be traced back to about three thousand years ago. The most glorious part is the about six hundred years’ being the capital city during Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Beijing is famous for having 7 Word Heritage Sites, including the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Zhoukoudian and the Grand Canal.
Northeast China - Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang Provinces
-Old manufacturing cities, diverse natural resources of forest, plain and prairie, winter holidays
North China - Shandong, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Henan, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin
-The Yellow River made this region the cradle of China’s civilization
Northwest China - Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, Xinjiang
-The glorious history of ancient Silk Road and diverse natural landscape
Southwest China - Tibet, Yunnan, Guangxi, Guizhou
-Featured in ethnic culture, Tibetan Buddhism and wild natural scenery
South-central China - Anhui, Sichuan, Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi
-Fertile area created by the Yangtze River. Beautiful mountains, rivers…
Southeast China - Guangdong, Hainan, Fujian
-Important international trading coastal cities and ports.
East China - Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang
-The most developed regions, traditional water towns and gardens
Located in southeastern Asia, China is the third largest country in the world with a total area of 9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi), boardering 14 nations - Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia, and North Korea. 67% of the lands are mountains, plateau and hills. Basin and plain occupy the rest. The terrace is featured in higher west and lower east. The westernmost China is the roof of the world - Qinghai Tibet Plateau (average altitude: above 4,000m). Stretching eastward and northward is the lower area (average altitude: 1,000~2,000m) which has diverse landforms – Xinjiang (mountains and desert), Inner Mongolia, the Loess Plateau, Sichuan Basin, Yungui Plateau. The rest southern, eastern and northeastern areas are mainly plains and hills (average altitude: 500~1,000m).
China joined the International Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage as a state party in 1985. So far, with profound culture and rich natural resources, China has 48 UNESCO world heritage sites, ranking after Italy (50), of which 34 are cultural heritage sites, 10 are natural heritage sites, and 4 are mixed cultural and natural heritage sites. Beijing is the No.1 city of heritage sites, having 7 world cultural sites, including the famous Great Wall, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, etc. Sichuan has 5 heritage sites, including popular tourist sites – Jiuzhaigou, Mount Emei & Leshan Giant Buddha, Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, etc. Other sites, such as Zhangjiajie National Park, Mogao Caves, Silk Road, Potala Palace, attract millions travelers to visit every year.
China boasts more than 5,000 rivers. Due to the spectacular terrain – high in the west and low in the east, many rivers flows from eastward from west to the Yellow Sea, Bo Sea or East Sea of Pacific Ocean. Top 10 most famous rivers in China are – Yangtze River (6,300km), Yellow River (5,464km), Pearl River (2,200km), Songhuajiang River (1,927km), Heilongjiang River (4,370km), Yarlung Zangbo River (2,900km), Nujiang River (2,816km), Lancangjiang River (2,354km), Hanjiang River (1,532 km), Liaohe River (1,394km).
The Yangtze River is the longest river in China, the third longest in the world. It originates from Qinghai Tibet Plateau, flow though southwestern and most southern fertile area of China It is also featured in beautiful gorges. The Yellow River is the cradle of Chinese civilization. Originated in Qinghai, the Yellow River meanders across 9 provinces in northern China, and empty into the Bo Sea. Glorious history and culture have been created along the Yellow River.
China is a mountainous country. There are thousands of mountains dominating on the vast land of China. Some are lofty peaks, some are snow mountains, some are green beautiful, some are associated with religions or fairytales. The top famous mountains of China are classified into several groups. The Five Great Mountains (Wuyue: 五岳) are Mount Tai (泰山) in Shandong, Mount Hua (华山) in Shaanxi, Hengshan Mountain (衡山) in Hunan, Mount Heng (恒山) in Shanxi, Mount Song (嵩山)in Henan. These five mountains are famous as the ancient imperial pilgrimage mountains. At the same time, there is strong presence of religions. Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism refers to five most sacred ashrams for the Four Bodhisattvas. Mount Wutai in Shanxi is the home of the Wenshu Bodhisattva, or Manjusri. Mount Emei in Sichuan is the ashram of Samantabhadra. Mount Jiuhua in Anhui is the home of Ksitigarbha. Mount Putuo is considered to be the bodhimanda of Avalokitesvara. There are also Four Sacred Mountains of Taoism – Mount Wudan, Mount Longhu, Mount Qiyun and Mount Qingcheng.
The Qinghai Tibet Plateau attracts many visitors, climbers and adventurers, Buddhist pilgrims for the magnificent snow peaks, including the highest mountain in the world – Mount Everest, the holiest mountain – MT. Kailash, beautiful Nanjiabawa, etc.
The traditional festivals are an important part of Chinese history, boast rich cultural presence, and inherit from ancient China. Most festivals are scheduled according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar as an essential part of harvests or prayer offerings. There are dozens of festivals celebrated every year, and the most important ones are the Spring Festival (1st day of 1st Month), Lantern Festival (15th day of 1st Month), Qingming Festival (April 5), Dragon Boat Festival (5th day of 5th Month), Middle Autumn Festival (15th day of 8th month), etc.
There are currently seven official public holidays in China during which people can get three days or one week off for vacation. But the finals dates for holidays are not fixed until being announced about three weeks before the next year. People have one week’s off during the Spring Festival and National Days, called golden week when is also explosive season for tourism. Foreign travelers are suggested to plan the itinerary, and get the reservations for hotels, flights done as fast as possible. Other 5 public holidays are New Year’s Day (Jan 1), Qingming Festival (Apr. 4 or 5), May Day (May. 1), Dragon Boat Festival (5th day of 5th Month), Middle Autumn Days (15th day of 8th month) which give a three days’ holiday.
China is the most populous county in the world, consisting of 56 ethnic groups. About 93% of the population are Chinese Han people. The non-Han chinese only occupies 7%. So the other ethnic groups also called minorities (Shaoshu Minzu – 少数民族).
Following are the major minority ethnic groups in China - Zhuang (16.9 million), Uyghur (11.5 million), Hui (10.5 million), Manchu (10.3 million), Miao (9.4 million), Yi (8.7 million), Tujia (8.3 million), Tibetan (6.2 million), Mongol (5.9 million), Dong (2.8 million), Buyei (2.8 million), Yao (2.7 million), Bai (1.9 million), Korean (1.8 million), Hani (1.6 million), Li (1.4 million), Kazakh (1.4 million), and Dai (1.2 million). There are 5 autonomous regions (provinces) for ethnic groups – Tibet (Tibetan), Ningxia (Hui Muslism), Guangxi (Zhuang), Xinjiang (Uygur) and Inner Mongolia (Mogol). Other big province of ethnic groups are Guizhou, Yunnan, Sichuan, Hunan, etc.
Top 3 tours chosen by most customers to explore in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.
Beijing / Xian / Shanghai
Beijing / Xian / Guilin / Yangshuo / Shanghai
Shanghai / Yichang / Yangtze Cruise / Chongqing / Guilin / Yangshuo / Xian / Beijing
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[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >